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Children Who Labor (1912)

Not Rated | | Drama, Short | 23 February 1912 (USA)
A foreigner who does not understand the ways of this country, applies for work at a mill, but is sent away with the intimation that if has a child at home there will be work for it, but ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
William Hanscomb - the Mill Owner
...
Louise Hanscomb
...
Mabel Hanscomb (as Leonie Flugrath)
John Sturgeon ...
The Immigrant Father
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The Immigrant Mother
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The Immigrant's Older Daughter
Edna May Weick ...
The Immigrant's Young Daughter
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An Owner of a Mill
...
A Friend of Mr. Hanscomb
Barry O'Moore ...
An Unskilled Laborer
...
The Warden of the Prison
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Storyline

A foreigner who does not understand the ways of this country, applies for work at a mill, but is sent away with the intimation that if has a child at home there will be work for it, but none for himself. We then travel in vision to New York to the home of a wealthy mill owner, to whom an appeal is being made to use his influence against child labor. He indicates that he can do nothing about it, and resents the insinuation that his own child might be one of the unfortunate except for her birth and his protection. His wife shows her interest in the project. We turn to the mill again and find that the foreigner, pushed by his poverty and unable get work himself, finally yields and puts his daughter to work, as the family must have bread. The next thing we see is that Hanscomb, the rich mill owner, has sent his wife and child on a journey, and the little one, getting off the train in a spirit of mischief, is left behind in a small town, which happens to be the same one in which the ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Genres:

Drama | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

23 February 1912 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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(2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

One of the 50 films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931" (2004), compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. This film has a running time of 13 minutes, an added piano music score, and is preserved by the Museum of Modern Art. See more »

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User Reviews

A Melodrama That Makes Its Point
21 April 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This melodrama was made for the specific purpose of dramatizing the need for reform in the child labor laws of its era, and it makes that point well. The plot is somewhat dependent on coincidence, but in a sense that goes with its implied point, namely that the child labor situation would be ignored unless something unexpected inspired those with sufficient influence to do something about it.

The story contrasts a working class family, reduced to depending on a still-young daughter for income in the local textile mill, with the family of a wealthy businessman who is insensitive to the problems of child labor. The story that ties them together works pretty well in making its points. The characters are believable, and the settings do a decent job for their era of establishing the atmosphere.

While the specific problem that the movie addresses may no longer be a significant concern in most places, the film is interesting in preserving the essence of a situation that, in its day, cried out for reform. Each generation has its own such needs, and some of the general lessons are still valid.


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