Cast & Crew
[frederick] Tyrone Power
The souls of unborn children behind the "Portals of Eternity" are of three groups: the army of "Chance Children;" the morally or physically defected "Unwanted Souls;" and the fine, strong souls that only are sent forth on prayer. District Attorney Richard Walton, a believer in eugenics, grieves because his wife is childless and takes pride in the child of his sister, who contracted a eugenic marriage. When a doctor is convicted for sending a book through the mail that advocates birth control, Walton supports him. After Walton's wife, a social butterfly, takes her friend Mrs. Brandt to Dr. Malfit for an abortion, Mrs. Brandt is again able to attend house parties. Lillian, the Walton's housekeeper's daughter, is seduced by Mrs. Walton's visiting brother. She dies during an abortion performed by Malfit, and Walton prosecutes. Sentenced to fifteen years, Malfit throws his account book at Walton, who then discovers the many times that his wife and her friends have had abortions. Walton calls his wife a murderess and imagines their home with children. Mrs. Walton, now repentant, tries to bring about conception, but learns that she can never bear children.
[frederick] Tyrone Power
A. D. Blake
Juan De La Cruz
C. Norman Hammond
William J. Hope
The movie was banned in Pennsylvania on the grounds it would tend to corrupt morals. The National Board of Review passed the film for adults only.
The trial of the doctor in the film for sending birth control booklets through the mails paralleled the Margaret Sanger trial in 1915, when she was indicted for the same reason.
The working title of this film was The Illborn. The film was not allowed to be shown in Pennsylvania on the grounds that it tended to debase or corrupt morals. In March 1916, the National Board of Review expressed disapproval of the film for showings to mixed audiences. Later they approved it for adult showings. According to a Moving Picture World review, the trial of a physician in the film for sending a book through the mails that advocated birth control was "plainly indicative of" the Margaret Sanger case of 1915, in which she was indicted for sending pleas for birth control through the mails. Universal won a case in Brooklyn, NY in 1916 to show the film after the district attorney brought suit against the theater manager and the Universal exchange president. The film showed in New York in April 1916.