Released at the tail end of the Progressive Era, Lois Weber’s silent reflects the sociopolitical concerns of its time, in particular income inequality and class struggle. The title refers to the impoverished being a stain on society. Along with Alice Guy-Blaché, Weber (1879-1939) was a leading female film director of the silent era, credited with 140 titles, most of which have been lost. The Blot, one of her most popular, follows the middle-class Griggs family, barely capable of financial survival, even though the father is a professor at a small college. The family’s hope for upward mobility is daughter Amelia (Claire Windsor), who has attracted the attentions of an impoverished minister, a young man next door, and a wealthy slacker. Phil West, the slacker, is a student of Professor Griggs, who, however improbably, saves the day by renouncing his apathy and working for the greater good.