Alternately hilarious and heart-stopping, Sidney Howard's
The Silver Cord
(1926) tells the story of the sweetly tyrannical, Mrs. Phelps the "mother of all mothers" and one of the great villains in all of American drama. Pathologically devoted to her two adult sons,
is driven to new heights of manipulation and intrigue when her eldest son returns home with his new bride a modern woman with her own career and, more importantly, her own ideas about marriage and family. Add the budding romance between the younger son and his unconventional "flapper" girlfriend and you've got the makings of an explosive Freudian melodrama.