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Betrayed by a Handprint (1908)

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Mrs. Wharton, a dashing widow, gives a party at her beautiful villa in honor of the presentation to her of a handsome diamond necklace by her fiancé. During the evening bridge participated ... See full summary »

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Harry Solter ...
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The Maid / Party Guest
Kate Bruce ...
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Party Guest
George Gebhardt ...
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Storyline

Mrs. Wharton, a dashing widow, gives a party at her beautiful villa in honor of the presentation to her of a handsome diamond necklace by her fiancé. During the evening bridge participated in by a number of the guests, among whom is Myrtle Vane. Miss Vane is playing in wretched luck, and is advised several times by Mrs. Wharton to desist, but she still plays on in the vain hopes of the tide of fortune turning, until at last, in the extreme of desperation, she stakes her all and loses. Shame and disgrace stare her in the face. What can she do to recoup her depleted fortune? As one of the guests there is Professor Francois Paracelsus, the eminent palmister, who of course, was called upon to read the palms of those present. Sheets of paper were prepared and each imprinted their hand on a sheet to be read by the erudite soothsayer at his leisure, and so were left on the drawing room table. All have now retired to the apartments assigned them by Mrs. Wharton, but there seems to be a ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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burglary | See All (1) »

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Short | Crime

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1 September 1908 (USA)  »

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Betrayed by Hand Prints  »

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1.33 : 1
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The Biograph Girl Shines!
1 October 2003 | by (Swansea, IL) – See all my reviews

This is a real gem in that it is an early effort made by the "Father of Film", D.W. Griffith and featuring the first movie star, Florence Lawrence. Naturally it would appear very antiquated to modern audiences but it is of great historical value. Griffith was beginning to master the narrative and hone his filmmaking skills. Miss Lawrence was wonderful in the lead portraying Myrtle Vane, a society lady who turns thief after losing at cards, but is caught when she leaves a palm print at the scene of the crime. She had a strong screen presence and mastery of histrionics, it is no wonder she was dubbed the "Biograph Girl", drawing people into the theaters with her magnetism. This was at a time when actors were not being billed, lest they demand more money, and Miss Lawrence would eventually be one of the first actresses to be credited in films, creating the star system.


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