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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A Biograph subject which cannot fail to grip the heart of every person who sees it. In two theaters there was scarcely a dry eye in the house. A couple lose a dearly loved child. He dies with a toy dog clasped in his arms. This is cherished for years, even though another little one comes to the household. Finally the father and mother have a bitter quarrel and agree upon a separation. When dividing the various articles in the house they get along famously until they come to the little dog. The little girl takes it down and asks who has it. Both reach out their hands for it, and the hands clasp. Shortly they are in each other's arms crying over the dog, and a reconciliation follows. The acting in this picture is better than the average. The mother's facial expression is a study, both while the child is dying and when she is looking at the dog. The photography is good in the main, though there is too much of the soot and whitewash style of lighting in some scenes. But the picture, as a whole, will attract because of the tenderness of the subject, and because of the part a little child plays in it. - The Moving Picture World, March 27, 1909
This four minute piece deteriorated after a promising start. It struggled to maintain audience attention because it lacked fluidity and a good narrative line. I think a re-writing of the script would have helped to improve the fluency of the story. There isn't much that you can cram into a four minute short film, but it does lend itself to the anecdotal genre. This is where the the 34 year old D.W. Griffith went wrong. He wasn't telling a story as such, he was using the time to tell an Edgar Allen Poe tale which just didn't work. The net result was a superficial effort that had strained credulity. Overall, this short piece was neither entertaining nor important enough to be entered into the Griffith canon.
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