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Nursing a Viper (1909)

 |  Short, Drama  |  4 November 1909 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 61 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

During the French Revolution, a wealthy couple lives safely by professing republican beliefs. When a mob attacks a nearby chateau an aristocrat bursts into the couple's home. They save his ... See full summary »


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Title: Nursing a Viper (1909)

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Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Marion Leonard, Kate Bruce, Frank Evans


Credited cast:
Arthur V. Johnson ...
The Husband
Marion Leonard ...
The Wife
Frank Powell ...
The Viper
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Evans ...
In Mob
Ruth Hart ...
Victimized Woman
James Kirkwood ...
In Mob
Henry Lehrman ...
In Mob
Fleeing Aristocrat
George Nichols ...
In Mob
Anthony O'Sullivan ...
In Mob
Billy Quirk ...
Fleeing Aristocrat
Gertrude Robinson ...
Fleeing Aristocrat
In Mob
Mabel Trunnelle ...
Victimized Woman


During the French Revolution, a wealthy couple lives safely by professing republican beliefs. When a mob attacks a nearby chateau an aristocrat bursts into the couple's home. They save his life by disguising him as a servant, but he soon forces his attentions on the wife. Hearing their struggle, the husband intervenes and, stripping the aristocrat of his disguise, thrusts him outdoors to be killed by the mob. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama





Release Date:

4 November 1909 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

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User Reviews

Simply strong film-making.
16 March 2010 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Compare this to most stuff that was being filmed in the early 20th century and there is no way denying it that this movie is quite a superior one.

You can say what you want about D.W. Griffith but he was one great film-maker that was a pioneer as well with his early movies. He is best known for he's epic and very long movies but of course he made some shorts ones as well, as was more custom for its time. This is one of his short movies, that runs just over 10 minutes.

What is especially great about this movie is the way it's set up. The movie has some great camera-angles, that capture everything in a compelling way. It's also a pretty fast moving picture, due to its editing pace.

As far as silent movies from the early 20th century go, this movie also has some real great writing. Yes, it's a short story of course but all of the sequences seem very well written and make the movie as a whole such a great and compelling one. It is of course also due to the fact how D.W. Griffith builds up its story toward the end that makes this movie such a good watch, even though the movie is over an 100-years old already.

A great short movie from the early days of motion picture film-making.


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