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Ashburn VA US [X]

Tricks of the Trade (1913)

Short | Comedy | Drama

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Jack Breen and his wife, Lizzie, are professional crooks, who live in a fine house and set themselves up as belonging to the best. Breen gets his living by various means, including begging. He dresses in ragged clothes and picks up crusts in the street, which he pretends to eat, thereby exciting the sympathy of passers-by. Jennie Corcoran, thinking his case one of genuine misery, gives him some money. He returns to his wife with his ill-gotten gains and changes his clothes. He manages to steal an overcoat from a poor actor who is trying to sell it and then steals a box of handsome shirt waists from a department store. Returning to his wife with these various things, he gives her the waists, one of which she put on, and changing into evening clothes, he goes out with her to dinner. At a swell restaurant, where they dine, Lizzie meets Jack Williams, a young fool, and starts to flirt with him. In the course of the evening she manages to get his diamond ring, adding another item to the spoils of the day. Nemesis is on their track. Jennie comes to the restaurant and recognizes the beggar of the morning. She reports him to a police officer, who shadows him. He is seen to try the beggar gag again and is arrested. Detectives are put on the case and the whole sordid career of Breen and his wife exposed. Both are given a heavy sentence in jail, a punishment which is well merited by their career of crime.
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