Joseph Urban and Cosmopolitan Films

Back Pay

"Back Pay" was Cosmopolitan Productions Number 24, and was released on January 8, 1922. It was directed by Frank Borzage, based on a short story by Fannie Hurst that had appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1921, with a scenario by Frances Marion.

The complete film is held by the Library of Congress.

Hester Bevins (Seena Owen) is a simple country girl who yearns for adventure. Though she has a handsome young man, Jerry Newcombe (Matt Moore) who is devoted to her, she leaves her village and goes to New York in search of a grander life. There she becomes the lover of Charles G. Wheeler a wealthy businessman (J. Barney Sherry), living in his Riverside Drive apartment. Returning to her home town, she discoveres that only Jerry remembers her and still loves her.

Jerry enlists in World War I. When Hester learns that he lies gravely wounded and blind in hospital, she rushes to him. Told that he has only three weeks to live, they are married. Jerry is confident of his recovery but fate intervenes and he dies. Hester now finds her New York life unbearable and she is tormented at night by visions of Jerry. Moved by these visions, she leaves the home Charles has furnished for her and rents a poorly furnished room. When she obtains a position with honest work, Jerry again appears to her and comforts her in her new and upright life.

These photographs from Urban's Scrapbook No. 2 show the set for Hester's New York Apartment and Dining Room. Notice the menorahs in the Dining Room.

These photosgraphs show Urban's sets for the Hotel Suite at Crystal Springs, the Dining Room of Mrs. Simmon's Boarding House, and Pansie's General Store.

Other photos in Urban's Scrapbook No. 2 include a Battlefield scene, Jerry's Room in Hospital and other Hospital sets.

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