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A music teacher is in love with Helen, one of his students, but she rejects him. In his anger he joins a communist group who plan to blow up a rich capitalist's house. When he realizes it's Helen's house, he tries to stop the plan.





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Credited cast:
Herr von Schmidt
Helen Walker
Frank Powell ...
Mr. Walker
Communist Leader
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
At Party Meeting
Clara T. Bracy
At Party Meeting
Adele DeGarde ...
At Party Meeting
Anita Hendrie ...
Herbert Prior ...
At Party Meeting / Servant
At Party Meeting


The romance of a poor German music teacher. Herr Von Schmitt, a young musician, comes to this country from Germany, and ekes a living teaching violin. At home he has become imbued with the doctrines of Karl Marx, the promoter of the communistic principles of socialism, the alleged Utopian scheme of universal co-operation, which in time, and under the control of intemperate minds becomes absolute anarchy. Von Schmitt, however, succeeding in a moderate degree to procure comfort by his art, is gradually being weaned from his former covetous spirit, and turns a deaf ear to the persuasive arguments of his former companions. Among his pupils is Miss Helen Walker, the daughter of a wealthy capitalist. A strong friendship springs up between teacher and pupil, which ripens into love before they are aware of it. Von Schmitt, unable to restrain himself any longer, during a lesson at his studio declares his love, and is, of course, owing to the disparity of rank, spurned. Enraged by the seemingly... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Release Date:

18 March 1909 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Filmed over two days. See more »

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User Reviews

Anarchist are bad,..m'kay?
16 June 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This D.W.Griffith film is part of a collection entitled "American Film Archives: Vol. 3: Disc 1". The DVDs deal specifically with American short films that deal with various social issues. These are the sort of films that usually would be forgotten or lost had it not been for some film preservationists work. Now this set certainly isn't for everyone, as the content is a bit dry. However, for history teachers (like myself) and cinemaniacs (again, that would be me), it's an invaluable set. As the films are all silent, they actually are very watchable along with the optional audio commentary--which gives nice background information.

This film begins with violin teacher Herr von Schmidt meeting with an Anarchist friend. Von Schmidt wants nothing to do with politics and the friend leaves. Soon, a rich lady (the daughter of a banker) comes for her lesson. When von Schmidt declares his love for her, she rejects him because of their difference in social class. Her father also is enraged and they push and shove a bit. This moment alone INSTANTLY turns von Schmidt into an Anarchist and after the lady and her father leaves, the Anarchist returns (like he's been hiding behind a wall--not through the door).

In the next scene, von Schmidt has joined the evil political group and is subsequently chosen to bomb some place in the name of Anarchy. However, just before detonating the bomb, he hears the violin being played--the home he is about to blow up belongs to the lady he pledged his love for earlier in the film! Now von Schmidt cannot bring himself to do this and his compatriot beats him up and leaves him to die after he lights the bomb. However, when von Schmidt awakens, he is able to stop the bomb from going off and receives the rich man's blessing to be with the daughter--and all is forgiven.

Aside from teaching us that foreigners and Anarchists are bad, the film is reasonably entertaining for 1909. Not great, but worth seeing.

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