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The Cord of Life (1909)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 39 users  
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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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Title: The Cord of Life (1909)

The Cord of Life (1909) on IMDb 5.3/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Inslee ...
Galora
Marion Leonard ...
Galora's Wife
George Gebhardt ...
Antonine
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 ...
Policeman
...
In Tenement
Adolph Lestina
David Miles ...
In Tenement
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Storyline

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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Genres:

Short | Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

28 January 1909 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Pretty Weird Griffith Feature
19 November 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is a pretty weird early D.W. Griffith feature. On the video version, it even has a bizarre (and seemingly anachronistic) soundtrack. The story does have some real suspense, but the whole thing is implausible, and some of it just doesn't make sense.

This is one of a number of features from around the same time in Griffith's career, in which he seemingly became pre-occupied with criminals who concoct weird ways of inflicting harm upon their victims. They are usually pretty odd, but they are at least interesting. This one concerns an angry tramp who decides to hurt a family who refuse to give him a handout.

The tramp character gesticulates wildly when no one else is around, so as to convince the audience of his ill intentions. Then he gives a demonstration of his plan, with the same panache that Batman's enemies used to display when showing off their latest unnecessarily complex way of eliminating their foe. While there is some real suspense that follows, the goofier aspects of the plot diffuse the tension too much. It is redeemed somewhat by some basic but effective cross-cutting, although if it had been edited more carefully, it would have been helpful.

While objectively not all that good, it's interesting enough to be worth seeing. A weak, bizarre feature is almost always more entertaining than a weak, routine feature.


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