Cast & Crew
Edward H. Griffith
Mary, whose mother has instructed her about love, marriage, and sex, leaves her boyfriend Paul to become a nurse in a New York hospital. Vera, encouraged by her mother to marry a rich man, takes an apartment from a young millionaire who promises marriage but only gives her syphilis. Mary and her doctor treat Vera and show her examples of the ravages of the disease. Mary meets other suffering women: an Irish servant girl betrayed by a chauffeur who dies after her baby is born; a garment worker who contracted syphilis from a soldier's forced kiss; the invalid wife of a wealthy man whose philandering caused her condition, the blindness of their child, and the suicide of one of his conquests. Paul, about to enlist, suggests that he and Mary have sex before he goes. Disappointed in him, Mary also rejects the proposal of her doctor, but later in Europe after seeing the kind of man he is, accepts him.
Edward H. Griffith
The film opened in Syracuse, NY. It was released under the authority of Surgeon General William Crawford Gorgas. It was shown as part of the national campaign of the Social Hygiene Division of the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities. Publicity claims that the incidents in the film were taken from real life cases that came under the observation of Katharine Bement Davis while she was commissioner of correction in New York. At the time of the film's production, Davis was Director of the Section on Women's Work of the Social Hygiene Divison of the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities. The film was produced under the supervision of the Surgeon General of the Army. The film was made possible by the cooperation of a number of agencies, including the National War Work Council, Y.W.C.A., The Famous-Players Lasky Corp., the American Social Hygiene Association, and the National League for Women's Service Motor Corps. Some scenes showing clinical cases of venereal infection were shot in the women's wards of Blackwell's Island, New York City.