silent screen

Movie Monday: Suffrage And The Man 1912

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Suffrage And The Man IMDb Amazon Image
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

One hundred, ten years ago, today, the B&W silent, short comedy film Suffrage and the Man was released. Produced by the French company Eclair, in conjunction with the Women’s Political Union, its original title was Suffrage Wins Herbert.

A young man learns that his betrothed is leaning toward the suffragette cause. He remonstrates with her father to be told “My butler and my bootblack may vote, why not my wife and daughter?” He cannot agree, however and their quarrel brings about a broken engagement. Disappointed and unhappy, he seeks forgetfulness by going to a summer resort. There, he succumbs to the wiles of a designing mother and, caught in an embarrassing position, her daughter “feinting a faint” in his arms, he permits their engagement to be announced. He learns, by an accidental eavesdropping, of the mother’s trickery. He loses no time to denounce the deception and withdraw his offer of marriage. The mother and daughter promptly start suit tor breach of promise. In the meantime, votes have been won for women. The trial of the suit comes up before a mixed jury of men and women with the old sweetheart as forewoman of the twelve peers. Their verdict is acquittal and, as might be expected, “Suffrage Wins Herbert” with a permanently happy result in his reconciliation and marriage.

IMDb Summary
Written by: Moving Picture World

According to Silent Era, the director is unknown, the cast is unknown and the film’s survival status is unknown. There is one trivia bit…it is based on a story written by playwright Dorothy Steele. ~Vic

Flick Friday: The Death Train 1915

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The Death Train Image
Photo Credit: anthonybalducci.blogspot.com
A Silent Film Rule:
Pies Go Splat But Damsels Never Do

Oh, it has been work looking for a film for today’s date. IMDB had plenty to choose from but, I couldn’t seem to get any further information from the others…Wikipedia, American Film Institute, Turner Classic Movies… Even the Silent Era site and Silent Hollywood were slim pickings and, Silentology had nothing.

Anyway, one hundred, five years ago, today, Episode #17 of The Hazards of Helen, The Death Train, was released. Similar to The Perils of Pauline, The Hazards of Helen was a film serial or series that ran from November 7, 1914 to February 24, 1917.

There were 119 episodes that were 12 minutes long, most of which have been lost. Based upon a novel written by John Russell Corvell and a play written by Denman Thompson, W. Scott Darling adapted the material for the silent screen and Edward T. Matlack wrote The Death Train, specifically. Directors were J. P. McGowan (1-48) and J. Gunnis Davis for the rest. The original actress was Helen Holmes (1-48), followed by Helen Gibson for the remainder of the series, with Anna Nilsson filling in for Holmes for Episode #18.

This episode also starred Rex Downs, M. J. Murchison, Edmund ‘Hoot’ Gibson, Leo D. Maloney and George A. Williams. Helen Holmes did most of her own stunts.

IMDB Summary:

The discovery that detectives are on their trail causes Doyle, Broden and Etzer, counterfeiters, to pack their paraphernalia into a trunk and express it to Lone Point. Upon its arrival at that station, a corner of the trunk is smashed. Helen thus learns of its contents. The telegrapher immediately wires to Savage, a railroad detective. The latter, accompanied by Duncan, a Secret Service detective, hastens to the scene. At their suggestion, Helen arranges a trap for the counterfeiters. When the latter appear, they are set upon by the officers. Etzer is captured but, his pals get away. Doyle eludes pursuit but, Broden later falls into Savage’s hands. Helen, watching the pursuit, ventures on the high trestle which crosses the dry bed of the Loro River. Doyle, who is hiding, sees Helen. Overpowered by a desire for revenge, the man attacks the telegrapher and makes her a prisoner. A rope lies nearby. Binding Helen, Doyle suspends his victim from the trestle and fastens the end of the line around the rails. Duncan sees this from afar. Although he rushes forward, he knows that the Keene local, due any moment, will cut the rope as it crosses the trestle. Meanwhile, Helen, after a tremendous effort, frees her hands. There is one chance for life. The girl commences swinging her body. Each time, she [manages] a wider arc. The train is crossing the trestle when Helen swings toward a beam. The engine wheels sever the rope. Helen flies through the air and reaches the beam. Doyle is captured. Savage and Duncan raise Helen to the tracks and find her uninjured.

Moving Picture World

This is one of the lost pieces so, there isn’t a YouTube clip and I could only find one picture. ~Vic

Additional Reading
Lost Films (European Union/German site)
Silent Era
Silent Hollywood (More on Helen Holmes)