|Index||3 reviews in total|
A study in desperation. Nothing on earth so lacerates the heart or so disturbs one's mental equilibrium as this same desperation; and when the desperate one sees those dependent upon him suffering, he becomes worse, and no matter what course he pursues he is frequently led to do things which he would shrink from in horror under normal circumstances. In this instance the man out of work, a dangerously sick child and suffering wife all combine to make the desperation so pronounced that the man's better self is overruled and he resorts to robbery; but his wife induces him to return the articles he took. Substantial assistance comes and the unfortunate family is placed on its feet. Figuratively and literally. This subject is not pleasant, yet its strength cannot be denied and the impression it makes cannot be questioned. One is fascinated when looking at it and turns away to wish he had not seen it, which is perhaps a sufficient commentary upon the picture and the acting which goes to make it complete. - The Moving Picture World, November 6, 1909
During the silent period, historical dramas were presented through the flashback. The 34 year old D.W. Griffith exploited this window to the past in this short film where he uses the flashback as backstory. By the time we reached the talking film era, historical narrative no longer needed the flashback.
It took a while to get into this short film but I got there in the end. The last few minutes were far more engaging than the first half. I don't think the 34 year old Griffith makes full use of the flashback and history, but the subjective camera works well for viewpoint.
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