“Tess of the Storm Country” is a silent film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Grace Miller White. The film was directed by John S. Robertson and released in 1922. The story is set in the coastal town of Stormfield, where the wealthy Travers family lives in a grand mansion overlooking the sea.
Tessibel “Tess” Skinner is a poor, uneducated girl who lives with her grandfather, who makes a living by salvaging goods from shipwrecks. When the Travers family’s yacht runs aground in a storm, Tess and her grandfather rescue them from the wreckage. This leads to a chance meeting between Tess and the handsome young Travers son, Frederick, and they fall in love.
However, the Travers family disapproves of their relationship due to Tess’s low social status. Despite this, Frederick and Tess continue to see each other in secret. Meanwhile, a local villain named Black Donald is causing trouble for Tess and her grandfather, and when he tries to rape Tess, she fights him off and leaves him injured.
Black Donald blames Tess for his injuries and seeks revenge. He frames her for theft and she is arrested, but Frederick is able to clear her name and prove her innocence. In the end, Frederick’s father agrees to their marriage and they are able to live happily ever after.
The film was a critical and commercial success, and is notable for its strong female lead character and its portrayal of the struggles of the working class in early 20th century America. The film was remade twice, once in 1932 and again in 1960, both times with sound.
John S. Robertson
Grace Miller White, E. Lloyd Sheldon, Josephine Lovett
Mary Pickford, Lloyd Hughes, Gloria Hope