A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film... See full summary »
The physician's death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor's small estate to cash. But it is late in the day, and with the banks ... See full summary »
A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema. This was one of Starewicz' first animated films, and stars very realistic ... See full summary »
When Mrs. Harding dies, she leaves a mysterious letter to her pastor. The note tells how her cold, miserly husband worked her to death. She asks the pastor to administer a small trust which... See full summary »
Charles Hill Mailes,
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James H. White
On a warm and sunny summer's day, a mother and father take their young daughter Dollie on a riverside outing. A gypsy basket peddler happens along, and is angered when the mother refuses to... See full summary »
Arthur V. Johnson,
When her father becomes ill, a young woman takes over the telegraph at a lonely western railroad station. She soon gets word that the next train will deliver the payroll for a mining ... See full summary »
Francis J. Grandon,
A gang of thieves lure a man out of his home so that they can rob it and threaten his wife and children. The family barricade themselves in an interior room, but the criminals are ... See full summary »
A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film continues to contrast the ironic differences between the lives of those who work to grow the wheat and the life of the man who dabbles in its sale for profit. Written by
James Meek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the first films that Griffith used the technique of parallel editing on (a technique he pioneered). It was used to create the effects in the wheat suffocating scene. See more »
When the Wheat King reads the letter regarding his increase in wealth, he is wearing gloves. After he falls into the wheat pit, there is an un-gloved hand reaching for the heavens; however, when they pull him out, he is once again wearing gloves. See more »
D. W. Griffith was still finding his feet as a film director when he made this early short for Biograph in 1909, but it's clear that he was already emerging as a leader among the pioneering directors in New York.
This is quite a macabre parable in which an unscrupulous tycoon suffers an ironic fate after cornering the world market in wheat and boosting his bank balance by $4,000,000 in the process. Many aspects of the film are still quite primitive by today's standards - particularly the fraught scene in the trading pit during which nearly everybody overacts outrageously so that the viewer doesn't know where to look.
The cross-cutting for which Griffith would become justly famous is in evidence here, but it's interesting that, instead of using it to heighten moments of tension or suspense, he uses successive shots to emphasise the contrasting lifestyles of the ruthless speculator who drunkenly toasts his good fortune at a banquet with his friends while the poor working masses suffer the economic fallout of his manipulation of the market.
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