Hearts Adrift (1914) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A man and a woman are shipwrecked on a desert island. It doesn't take long before they fall in love and, figuring that they would never see civilization again, declare themselves married and eventually have a child. One day, however, the man's wife--who had been looking for him--finally finds him. Complications ensue.

  • Nina, a little twelve -year-old Spanish girl, is the sole survivor of a shipwreck, which occurs just off one of the South Sea islands. Clinging desperately to the spar of the ship, Nina, half unconscious, is tossed by the waves upon the beach of this island. The little one survives the ordeal of the shipwreck and the hard life of the uninhabited island, subsisting on a diet of fruit, fish and herbs. The child thrives, makes friends and companions of the birds and beasts of the island, and skilfully contrives crude garments from skins and fibers. Some years later, a wealthy couple, the Grahams, who are traveling for health and pleasure on their yacht, are also shipwrecked near this island. Their yacht burns, and in the excitement husband and wife are separated, and each fears the other has been lost. Mrs. Graham is put into a boat and her rescue effected, but her husband, like Nina, is washed ashore on the desolate island. Nina discovers his body on the beach, hardly knows what the strange creature is, and seeing him move, timidly runs away. Every night while Graham sleeps, Nina brings him food, which he finds in the morning. One night, puzzled by the strange and regular supply of food, Graham pretends to be asleep and catches Nina. She escapes and flees from him, but later observes that he appears friendly, and finally permits his approach. One night, in fear of a terrific thunder-storm, Nina runs to Graham's cave for refuge. Graham shields her from the storm. They become friends, companions, and more. Realizing that their lives cannot continue in this manner. Graham tells Nina they must "marry," and he performs an impromptu marriage ceremony, making her repeat the formula of the ritual after him. For a while Graham is a bit remorseful, for his wife's image comes between him and Nina, and he wonders if she is really dead. However, he is eventually forgetful of her, and happy in his love for Nina and their baby. Nina is supremely happy, but one day a boat comes to the lonely island. In it is Graham's wife, still persevering in a heart-breaking search for her husband. There is a happy reunion between the Grahams, while the poor little girl of the island is completely forgotten. But Nina sees the meeting and understands all. Sadly, slowly, she walks away, and when Graham at last turns to look for Nina he sees her poised upon the brow of a cliff, her babe in her arms. Only a moment she stands there, and then leaps to death.


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