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

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Grace Henderson ...
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H. Ryker, the Usurer
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Bill Collector
Anthony O'Sullivan ...
Bill Collector
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Bill Collector
Kate Bruce ...
One of the First Debtors
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One of the Second Debtors
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Despairing Mother / One of the Third Debtors
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Child of Despairing Mother / One of the Third Debtors
Dell Henderson ...
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Second Mover / At Luncheon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Storyline

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt" Matthew 6: 19. How few there are that appreciate the truth of this advice from holy writ, in our incessant struggle tor gold. Wealth is not only transitory, but it often conspires against our eternal salvation. "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." True it is that the fight for fortune is ethical where the methods are legitimate, but the one despicable means is that of the usurer or money shark. This man fattens on the misfortunes of his fellow beings, gloating over the fact that his debtors are his abject slaves, and like the ancient king who called tor a reckoning from his servant, "But forasmuch as he had not to pay, he commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had." This is the procedure of the usurer. We find him about to have his office in the evening ordering his collectors to warn the delinquent debtors that if they do not pay by the morrow their effects will be sold. They... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Short

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Release Date:

15 August 1910 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Usurário  »

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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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