The First Born (1928)

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Society drama. Sir Hugo Boycott is a would-be reforming politician married to Madeleine, a young woman of the upper classes. As she fails to produce an heir they quarrel and he leaves the country to travel to Africa where he frequents a drinking club where he has an African mistress and child. At home Madeleine drifts around with her society friends being courted by Lord Harborough whom she rejects but retains as a friend. In an effort to regain her husband's love, she is persuaded by a jealous friend to adopt the illegitimate child of her manicurist as her own. For a while the pair are reconciled and Hugo dotes on his new son and heir. They eventually have another child but he is strangely uninvolved with her baby. Boycott stands for Parliament very much supported by his wife who is popular with the people but as the marriage deteriorates, again due to his philandering, tensions build. They quarrel again and ultimately it is revealed that the ‘first born’ is not his child. Boycott flees to his mistress on the night of the election and they also argue. As he leaves he walks backwards towards the open lift door and plunges to his death. On hearing this his wife is distraught but discovering from the manicurist that Hugo (she know him by another name) was the father of the child she adopted, she feels that her ties to him are finally severed and she can pursue her romance with Lord Harborough.

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