Cast & Crew
Kate, whose father, a university graduate, died when she was very young, is adopted by her tenement neighbor, Mrs. McMahon, after her mother, a woman of refinement, dies. At ten, the ill-nourished girl, who has grown up watching her drunken foster father fight with her overworked foster mother, goes to work in a factory after Mr. McMahon loses his job. During the next eight years, Kate's stepbrother, Big Bill McMahon, becomes her friend, sweetheart and protector. Meanwhile, Marion Melton, the daughter of a wealthy, high society woman, develops a theory concerning the influence of heredity. Marion meets Kate and, to test her theory, becomes Kate's friend. Invited to live in the Melton mansion, Kate acquires polish and, to the McMahon's disappointment, marries Marion's brother Guy. When Guy neglects her, however, Kate hurls a curio at him and returns to the McMahons. Bill advises Guy that he must win her by force using Bowery gangster tactics, rather than kindness. This works, and after a reconciliation, Kate goes to boarding school and excels in her studies.