The G. Marion Burton poem served as inspiration for several films (including the 1914 comic satire by Charles Chaplin), but this melodrama, directed by John Ford, was the most sincerely done. In a barroom, artist Robert Stevens (Henry Walthall) drunkenly relates his sad story -- he was engaged to marry a society girl, Marion (Ruth Clifford), when her brother took advantage of a fisherman's daughter, who commits suicide. To protect Marion's brother, Stevens takes the blame for the girl's sad end. Marion leaves him and he begins his descent into the gutter. Stevens is falsely accused of a crime and imprisoned. He is pardoned, however, because he has saved the life of the governor (Norval McGregor). Stevens completes his sorry tale by painting Marion's face on the barroom floor. Because someone recognizes the likeness he is able to locate her. He manages to pull himself out of his alcoholic haze and the couple are reconciled.
~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide