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A Vein of Gold (1910)

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Convict No. 999, lonely in his prison cell, is handed a letter one morning from his mother. The letter states that the enfeebled old lady is ill and without food or money. The convict's ... See full summary »

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Cast overview:
Walt Rooney, Convict No. 999
Fred Church
Clara Williams


Convict No. 999, lonely in his prison cell, is handed a letter one morning from his mother. The letter states that the enfeebled old lady is ill and without food or money. The convict's heart saddens as he recalls his life of crime and that he is responsible for the poor old mother's want. He prays for the opportunity to redeem himself. Later he calls the guard, who is monotonously patrolling the hall outside and begs an interview with the warden of the penitentiary, a just, honest man, to whom he shows the letter and begs for a ticket of leave that he may visit his mother and make some endeavor to relieve her want. The request is granted, and promising to return when his time has expired. No. 999 shakes the wardens' hand and goes out. Beyond the gray walls of the penitentiary Walt Rooney makes haste to catch the next train for his home in the little western town. He arrives and hurries to his mother's home. The mother embraces him tenderly while Walt turns his head, hiding a tear. "I... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Western





Release Date:

30 April 1910 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remade as Broncho Billy Evens Matters (1915) See more »

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User Reviews

It is a rattling good story
4 May 2015 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

A strongly dramatic picture, developing some novelties. First, the warden permits the prisoner to leave the prison to see his mother merely upon his promise to return. Next, the prisoner holds up the storekeeper in the village to obtain money to supply his mother's wants, and escapes detection. He returns to prison, serves out his term, goes prospecting in the gold fields, strikes it rich and returns just in time to buy up the property of the storekeeper, who is being sold out under a mortgage foreclosure. Here is a whole string of novel situations, each one more so than the one before it, excepting possibly the last. But, as the boys say, it is a rattling good story and everyone who sees the picture will thrill with emotion more than once. First, when the warden allows the prisoner to go; it isn't regular, but there is something about it that touches one, unconsciously perhaps, yet none the less certainly. Next, there will be a thrill when the prisoner returns. That isn't regular, either, yet somehow it seems quite the thing to do and it rather strengthens one's faith in human nature to see the prisoner come walking back to finish his sentence merely because he gave his word that he would do so. And the last scene, buying the property and returning it to the unfortunate man, the glance of recognition and understanding, that is a fitting climax for a picture of an altogether unusual sort. There should be no question about the popularity of this picture. It contains elements which will exert an exceptionally strong appeal. - The Moving Picture World, May 14, 1910

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