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The House of Cards (1909)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 52 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

The rancher whom Tom works for has entrusted Tom with a bag of gold to take to the bank. But on arriving at the bank, Tom finds that it is closed for the day. It is not long before Tom is ... See full summary »

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Director: Uri Levy
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Cast

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

The rancher whom Tom works for has entrusted Tom with a bag of gold to take to the bank. But on arriving at the bank, Tom finds that it is closed for the day. It is not long before Tom is lured into a game of cards, and loses the rancher's money. Soon there is a warrant out for Tom's arrest on a charge of embezzlement, and his situation becomes increasingly desperate. Written by Snow Leopard

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Short | Drama | Western

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10 December 1909 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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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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