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The House of Cards (1909)

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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 59 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

The story revolves itself around a Western cowboy who has been sent to the town of Cedar Gulch to deposit gold in the bank for his boss. Arriving too late in the night to dispose of the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Mary Fuller ...
The Girl
Tom Crawford
Herbert Prior ...
Sheriff Rattle Snake Jim


The story revolves itself around a Western cowboy who has been sent to the town of Cedar Gulch to deposit gold in the bank for his boss. Arriving too late in the night to dispose of the gold, he seeks out the pretty daughter of the gambling-house keeper who has given her heart unto his keeping. While waiting for the bank to open in the morning, he becomes fascinated with the sight of the money being won at a gambling table, and starts to gamble with his boss's money. Luck is against him, and scarcely before he realizes it he has lost all. Ruin, disgrace, and prison or lynching stare him in the face. Only seeking to get back what he has lost he tries to rob the gambling house at night, and here he comes face to face with the little girl whom he loves. He confesses to her his crime and shame, and the woman's love spreads forth its hands to shield him. She seeks out Rattlesnake Jim, the Sheriff of Cedar Gulch, who also is in love with her, and implores his aid for her unworthy lover. A ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama | Western





Release Date:

10 December 1909 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

OK Overall, Worth Seeing For the Climax
29 June 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This Edison/Edwin S. Porter short is about average overall, and is mostly worth seeing for the ending, which contains some interesting story developments. The camera technique and the production are really just average for 1910, and the story is enough to hold your interest, but until the later scenes it is standard fare for the era.

The story centers on a ranch hand who gets in trouble when he gambles away his boss's money. Much of the material consists of the kinds of stock characters and story developments common to the late 1900s/early 1910s, but it has enough drama to be watchable. There is one sequence, as Tom (the ranch hand) first arrives in town, when Porter's camera pans back in forth in a purposeful manner. Otherwise, the movie just relies on the story and some reasonably detailed settings.

It is towards the end that things pick up. The conflict between Tom, the rancher, and the sheriff comes to a climax in a scene with some imaginative, offbeat touches. In a later era, it could have been a very effective and very memorable scene, with close-ups of the characters and the situation, and with a more deliberate building of tension. As it is, it's still the best part of the movie, and raises it from being thoroughly routine to being worth seeing.

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