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The Usurer (1910)

 |  Drama, Short  |  15 August 1910 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 133 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

A wealthy, callous moneylender finds a terrifying way to learn about money's limitations.

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Title: The Usurer (1910)

The Usurer (1910) on IMDb 6/10

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Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
George Nichols ...
Grace Henderson ...
...
H. Ryker, the Usurer
Edward Dillon ...
Bill Collector
Anthony O'Sullivan ...
Bill Collector
Alfred Paget ...
Bill Collector
Kate Bruce ...
One of the First Debtors
...
Henry B. Walthall ...
One of the Second Debtors
...
Despairing Mother / One of the Third Debtors
Gladys Egan ...
Child of Despairing Mother / One of the Third Debtors
Dell Henderson ...
Guy Hedlund ...
Second Mover / At Luncheon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Linda Arvidson ...
Florence Barker
Edit

Storyline

A wealthy moneylender instructs his collectors to foreclose on the property of every debtor who is behind on his or her payments. Many families are affected by this decision, in some cases with tragic results. But the moneylender is unconcerned, and he ignores their pleas while he enjoys showing off his wealth. But when he is accidentally locked inside his office's valuables vault one evening, he realizes to his horror that suddenly all his wealth is useless to save him. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Short

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Release Date:

15 August 1910 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Technically, Only Fair, But the Kind of Deeply-Felt Story Characteristic of Griffith
23 January 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

From a technical and artistic viewpoint, this short drama is only of fair quality. But it features the kind of heartfelt story that was so often characteristic of D.W. Griffith, at least when he was at his best. The social commentary in the story is well-aimed, and is still relevant over 90 years later, so that it's easily possible to appreciate the movie for that reason; but a more objective look reveals some ways that it could have been noticeably better.

The story shows a wealthy moneylender living in exorbitant luxury, even while he orders families to be forced out of their homes for being behind in their payments. The contrast between their sufferings and his plush lifestyle makes a definite impression, but it is carried out in a rather heavy-handed fashion, and a few years later Griffith would probably have come up with a more artful way of presenting the contrast. Too many of the key events are contrived, and this too he would have improved on later.

It's interesting that despite the obvious flaws, the movie still has a strong enough basic point to make it worth watching. When Griffith learned how to refine his technique and combine it with his strongly held views (some of which were bizarre, but others commendable), he was able to produce some memorable movies.


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