The Dawn of Netta
The Dawn of Netta is a 1912 American silent short drama film directed by Tom Ricketts and starring Richard Buhler, Edgar L. Davenport, George De Carlton, and Dorothy Donnelly. It is the first film to be distributed by Universal Pictures. The film was released by Universal Film Manufacturing Company on June 24, 1912.
Will Barton has gone to the mountains in search of health. He learns from the doctor that he is dying and is distracted at the thought of leaving his beloved daughter, Netta, a girl of seventeen, alone and unprotected in the world. He telegraphs to Jack Gordon, his best friend, and upon his arrival. Barton asks him to marry Netta. Jack is a popular man and hesitates between his present method of living and his desire to gratify the dying wish of a man who has been his benefactor. Gratitude and pity conquer and he acquiesces. Barton places the hand of Netta in Jack's. Later, Jack sends Netta to a school in Paris, and as time passes, he gradually ceases to think of his promise to Barton and his engagement to Netta, and becomes attached to Mrs. Smith Douglas, an attractive widow. The time for Netta's return arrives and Jack persuades Mrs. Douglas to take care of Netta for a few days in order that he may have time to provide suitably for her. Jack neglects to tell Mrs. Douglas that he is engaged to Netta. Netta arrives, and, instead of the forlorn little maid in black that Jack had parted with, he sees a developed and beautiful woman and falls madly in love with her. Seeing how popular Netta is with the young men who pay her great attention, Jack has a mental struggle between his love and a desire to be unselfish. He finally decides to give Netta her freedom that she may marry a man of her own choosing and nearer her own age. He does this gently, not knowing that Netta is genuinely in love with him, and always has been. She is heartbroken, but consents, thinking that Jack does not love her. Netta seeks a secluded spot in a window seat and finds refuge in tears. Mrs. Douglas, who has grown fond of the girl and who is at heart a kindly woman, finds Netta, comforts her, and extracts her secret. She seeks out Jack and takes him to Netta, where they renew their troth in the soft light of the moon, whilst Mrs. Douglas, seeing their undoubted affection, draws the curtain gently that they may be alone.