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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Biograph people have produced a film which has intense dramatic interest and holds the attention closely from the beginning of the plot until the last. The story is dramatic in the development, which forces a policeman to arrest his brother for theft while the brother is celebrating his birthday. The facial expression when the officer finds his brother's cap by the opened safe and, again, when he confronts the brother with the evidence of his crime and declares that he must make the arrest, is well worth studying. It is intensely dramatic. One can scarcely realize that the face can be made to say so much. The picture has all the characteristics for which the Biograph films are popular and the close brings a round of applause for the officer who did his duty regardless of who was affected by his doing it. - The Moving Picture World, June 5, 1909
This reconstruction of O'Henry's work is an attempt to sketch the 34 year old D.W. Griffith's own ambitious project which will be fully realised in 'The Birth of a Nation'. He rearranges O'Henry's source of information to fit his own programme. It is an argumentative self-defence of the continuity of the settling community in America, told from Griffith's point of view rather than O'Henry's. He defines the national boundaries of the nation, demonising the marginalized in the process. He even has characters dressed up in minstrelsy just because he couldn't be bothered to hire an ethnic actor.
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