His Children's Children (1923) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Follows three generations of the Mayne family through the year 1921-22. The 81-year-old patriarch reminisces about his rough beginnings in post-Civil War railroading, son Rufus rides rough waters as a wealthy financier, and his wife and three daughters muddle through their New York high society life.

  • Peter Kayne's great wealth exercises a baneful influence on his son, Rufus, and his three granddaughters, Claudia, Sheila, and Diana. Shortly before the "Old Pirate" dies, Rufus, through his association with a chorus girl named Mercedes, is blackmailed; Claudia marries a scoundrel; and Sheila becomes part of a fast-moving set of lounge lizards and flappers. Diana, the sensible daughter, rescues Sheila and marries Maitland, an idealistic young lawyer. While the old man is upstairs dying, his Fifth Avenue home and all its contents are being auctioned. Reviving sufficiently to come downstairs, he sees what is happening and falls dead, tearing from the wall a tapestry concealing the legend "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."


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