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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm(1932)


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Miranda and Jane Sawyer offer to take in and educate the daughter of their poor sister, Rebecca Rowena Randall, as an act of charity. As Rebecca leaves her mother's house, she promises to "work her magic" on her aunts and win them over with her sweet disposition and generosity. After Rebecca's bus breaks down en route to her aunts' Maine home, Dr. Adam Ladd offers to drive Rebecca to her destination. While Ladd picks up a prescription in town, Rebecca offers to give rides to several townies, including Jack o' Lantern, the child of atheist Zion Simpson, whom Zion is bringing to the poorhouse. Rebecca arrives and asks her aunts if she may keep young "Jacko," but they are aghast at the suggestion, and Ladd brings the child to the home of bus driver Jeremiah Cobb and his wife. Later, as Rebecca assists her aunts in preparing for the arrival of a missionary society interested in Syria, she goes to visit Jacko at the Cobbs' home. Zion arrives, however, to take Jacko back home to the child's mother Mary, who lives with Zion out of wedlock in a shack. Mary reveals her desire for a wedding ring, but Zion refuses, decrying the iniquities of respectable society and its traditions. Rebecca shows up late to her aunt's Syrian missionary meeting, and then, while leading the assembled group in prayer, castigates them for hypocritically passing judgement on Mary and Jacko. On Christmas, Rebecca agrees to attend the Ladies' Aid Society meeting in place of the ailing Miranda and Jane, and Jane tells Rebecca that a softened Miranda will give money to Ladd's new clinic, an act of charity which she had earlier refused to perform. As Rebecca travels to the charity meeting by horse and buggy, she sees Ladd and offers to take him to the Simpsons' shack, where Mary is having another baby. When Laddie, the horse, breaks its leg, Ladd and Rebecca hike through snow to the bedridden Mary, who gives birth to a baby girl. Rebecca gives a wedding ring to Zion, and the irascible atheist, now reformed by Rebecca's persistence, presents it to Mary. Rebecca arrives home to find that Miranda is very ill, and both aunts are furious that she missed the charity meeting and stayed out all night. Though the dying Miranda is being treated by another doctor, Ladd unethically sneaks into her room and performs a medical procedure which saves her life. During Miranda's recovery, Rebecca and Ladd tell her that they plan to wed as soon as Miranda is well enough to attend the festivities.