George W. Hill – Min and Bill (1930)

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Plot: Min owns the waterfront hotel where Bill, the captain of a fishing boat, lives. Also living and working in the hotel is Nancy, whom Min took in some years ago as an abandoned girl. Now that Nancy is older, the truant officer and the police think that she should be moved to a different environment, and Min is torn between her attachment to Nancy and her concern that the waterfront may not be the best place for a young woman. Matters are brought to a head by the sudden re-appearance of Belle, Nancy’s disreputable mother. Written by Snow Leopard

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Min runs a boarding house down by the waterfront with her unofficial charge, Nancy, who was abandoned by her mother at age 6 months. Min loves Nancy like a daughter, and conversely Nancy loves Min like a mother. They exist in a working class life – Nancy works at the boarding house instead of going to school. One of Min’s boarders is Bill, a fisherman. Bill is the primary male influence in Min and Nancy’s life. As Nancy grows into her mid-teen years, the truant officer is concerned for her welfare and thinks she better off not to be living with Min in a rough and, in his mind, harsh environment. Despite her love for Nancy, Min thinks he may be right especially as Nancy attracts the attention of Alec Johnson, who Min sees as being an unsavory character. The truant officer suggests sending Nancy to live with the local school superintendent, a situation Nancy resists. But Min’s want for a good life for Nancy may all be for not as Bella Pringle, Nancy’s sluttish biological mother, comes back to claim her daughter if only to act as her caregiver. Min does whatever she can to protect Nancy from Bella, even if it risks her own relationship with Nancy and risks her own life altogether. Written by Huggo

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