The Road to Ruin (1928 film)

The Road to Ruin is a 1928 American silent black-and-white exploitation film directed by Norton S. Parker and starring Helen Foster. The film is about a teenage girl, Sally Canfield, whose life is led astray by sex and drugs, and ruined by an abortion. The film was remade as a talkie in 1934.

The Road to Ruin
The Road to Ruin 1928 poster.jpg
Lantern slide
Directed byNorton S. Parker
Written byWillis Kent
Produced byWillis Kent
StarringHelen Foster
CinematographyHenry Cronjager
Edited byEdith Wakeling
Distributed byTrue-Life Photoplays
Release date
  • March 23, 1928 (1928-03-23)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Box office$2,500,000[1]



The Road to Ruin was made on a budget of either $15,000 or $25,000, making it one of the cheapest films made that year.[2] Director Norton S. Parker later told his wife that lead actress Helen Foster was much like her character in that she was relatively naive; during the filming of the strip poker scenes, Parker kept a bottle of hard alcohol to offer Foster liquid courage. The film was shot by Henry Cronjager using a hand-cranked camera typical of the era, but at faster-than-normal crank speed; this helped fill up each reel and getting the final film to feature length, but had the effect of making all the action in the film move slower.[3]


  1. ^ Box Office Information for The Road to Ruin
  2. ^ "Star Gazing Along Movie Way". The Belleville News-Democrat. Vol. 73 No. 275 16 November 1928 p 7. Accessed 31 March 2022.
  3. ^ Brownlow, Kevin. Behind the Mask of Innocence: Sex, Violence, Prejudice, Crime: Films of Social Conscience in the Silent Era. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press. p 176.

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