Antonine, a worthless, good-for-nothing scoundrel, demands money of his cousin Galora, an energetic, provident husband and father. His demands are met with a positive rebuff, and when he ... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Charles Inslee ...
Marion Leonard ...
Galora's Wife
George Gebhardt ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Linda Arvidson ...
In Tenement
Dorothy Bernard
Clara T. Bracy
John R. Cumpson ...
In Tenement
Charles K. French
Charles Gorman
Guy Hedlund
Anita Hendrie ...
In Tenement
Arthur V. Johnson ...
In Tenement
Adolph Lestina
David Miles ...
In Tenement


Antonine, a worthless, good-for-nothing scoundrel, demands money of his cousin Galora, an energetic, provident husband and father. His demands are met with a positive rebuff, and when he becomes insistent be is forcibly ejected by Galora. As he leaves the tenement he vows to get even, and lies in wait until Galora has gone out on business. Climbing to the fifth floor, on which the Galoras live, he watches his chance, which comes when Mrs. Galora goes for an instant to visit a neighbor on the same floor. Darting into the apartment and raising the window he perceives the awful result of a drop to the ground, five stories below, and so evolves a plan that is dastardly in the extreme. Taking the infant child from the cradle, and placing it in a basket he lets it out with a short rope, the end of which he secures by letting the sash down on it, so that to raise the window would precipitate the baby to destruction. Not content with this he follows Galora and would have killed him were it ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

28 January 1909 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Throwing Out the Baby in the Basket
5 November 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

George Gebhardt is tracking down Charles Inslee, looking to settle an old debt. Mr. Gebhardt finds Mr. Inslee in an old tenement building, living with his wife Marion Leonard, and their baby. Inslee explains he is as penniless as down-and-out Gebhardt, and has no money. The two men argue, and Gebhardt angrily marks the door to Inslee's apartment with a vengeful "X" as he leaves. Later, Gebhardt returns to rig a horrific plan; he'll have Ms. Leonard unwittingly kill their baby by hanging the bound baby in a basket from the apartment window; when mother opens the window, baby falls to a certain death!

Biograph's New York studio, and area location are helpful in story setting; in the set-up scenes, the extras are pleasing to watch - they include Biograph girls Linda Arvidson, Florence Lawrence, and Dorothy West. Director D.W. Griffith's story goes for the sure-fire suspense by putting an innocent baby's life in danger. There are some notable storytelling flaws - for instance, note that the baby is conveniently pre-bound, and Ms. Leonard's table cloth is certainly not her favorite! Still, there are some nice touches; like Gebhardt's marking, and later wiping of the "X" on his enemy's door.

"The Cord of Life" is the string which holds the basketed baby from the apartment window; the string is held in place by the closed window; when the window is opened, the string should loosen, and drop the baby, according to villainous Gebhardt's plan. For fun, try to figure out how father Inslee plans to solve the problem, and save the baby.

*** The Cord of Life (1/28/09) D.W. Griffith ~ George Gebhardt, Charles Inslee, Marion Leonard

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