Nina Leeds (Norma Shearer) is still reeling from the loss of her true love in the war. Resentful that her father forbade the marriage, she looks for an escape in nursing those who have also fought. During the course of her work, she comes across many interesting characters including several handsome soldiers and doctors. She really enjoys her work even though it was originally intended as an escape. Her career is forced short when she receives news that her father is dying. She returns home but it is too late to make amends.
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Nina is devastated by the dual loss in her life but she is comforted to find the old family friend Charlie (Ralph Morgan) who waiting to console her. She readily takes to his arms but not as he truly wishes which we will hear in his thoughts. She sees him as good old Uncle Charlie when he has longed for Nina's love since she has grown into a beautiful woman. She soon finds the arms of another to console her and decides to get married. Sam Evans (Alexander Kirkland) is a very sweet but very insecure wishy washy guy. He shows up during Nina's time of grief and she just wants to get away again. He brings along the handsome Dr. Ned Darrell (Clark Gable) who will eventually become closer to the family that intended. It seems Nina has had an encounter with him before. Still, Sam is the perfect opportunity for another escape and she takes it believing that a family of her own would make her happy. The two are wed but it isn't long before those hopes too are dashed.
The new bride is introduced to Mrs. Evans (May Robson) at the old homestead. She quickly confides to Nina that a serious mental illness runs in the family and it would be best if Sam did not proliferate. Nina is stricken with this idea but even more so stricken when Sam's mother suggests that she have another man's child then claim it is Sam's. By this Nina could ensure Sam's confidence and happiness. At first she thinks this is such a perverse idea but as time goes by, Sam becomes less and less confident with their marriage. He is so insecure that the couple are miserable together. Nina's misery is enhanced by the random appearances of Dr. Darrell whom she is intensely attracted to. Finally she relates the family history to Ned and asks him to be the "donor" for her and Sam's child. Ned quickly agrees as he has always wanted to have an affair with Nina anyway.
A son is born and Sam soon regains his confidence. He becomes a huge success in business and provides well for his family. Ned sees the product of his love labor and is sorry that the family is not his own. He at first threatens Nina with exposure but their continued relationship makes it easier for him to take as is.
As Nina and Ned's child grows, his suspicions grow as well. Gordon, their son, is angered with Ned and the approaches with his mother. He is also angered with his mother but by this time, her life has been devoted to her son more than anyone else. She is so much devoted that when he goes away to college and meets a lovely girl, Nina is mortified. She is so afraid of losing Gordon (Robert Young) that cannot even think clearly. She begins scheming but all her plans change with the sudden death of Sam. Gordon decides to go through with the marriage. Nina is resolved to die alone even though Ned and Charlie fawn over her devotedly. Just as the honeymoon is about to take place a confrontation between Ned and Gordon occurs. Perhaps Gordon has know the truth all along?
The review of this Movie prepared by Talea