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The Cry of the Children (1912)

An indicment of the evils of child labor, the film was controversial in its time for its use of actual footage of children employed in a working mill.


(as George O. Nichols)
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Cast overview:
Alice, the little girl
Ethel Wright ...
The working mother
The working father
The factory owner's wife
The factory owner


Part 1: Little Alice, more fortunate than some of the others, was not always a child slave. She was the youngest of three children, and the pet. Wages were small, but her parents and her brother and sister found it possible to feed an extra mouth, although the margin between income and expenses was pitifully scanty. So little Alice, for a time, was a happy child, and not a tiny old woman, as were the other little girls in the manufacturing town. The wife of the owner of the mill was a selfish, dissatisfied society woman. Driving out in her auto one day, she saw little Alice, and immediately was struck with the youth and beauty of the pretty child. A creature of impulse, she decided she wanted Alice for her own, and summoning the parents told them of the good fortune in store for them. Much to the rich woman's surprise, they did not see it as she did. They did not want to give the child up, and said so. The mother, however, thought of the advantages that Alice would have if she ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama



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Release Date:

30 April 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Плач ребенка  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the few remaining films of the early Thanhouser film studio, located in city of New Rochelle, NY, just north of NYC, operating from 1909-17. Most of Thanhouser films are lost. See more »

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User Reviews

This child, played by the Thanhouser Kid, seems the very breath of poetry
6 November 2016 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

The Moving Picture World has already commended this glorious, two- reel feature made after the poem of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and has pointed out the value of such releases to humanity and their civilizing power. This reviewer, however, takes pleasure in pointing the charm of the picture that most strongly appealed to him. It is in the character of the mill worker's youngest child, a vivid and quite fresh creation. The producer, in the way he has handled the possibilities that this character gave to him, shows a sensitive, poetic imagination. This child, played by the Thanhouser Kid, seems the very breath of poetry, and, to give one instance, that scene in which we see her beside the bunch of pussy willows, changes the effect of every other scene in the picture. The picture needed some such contrast in order to bring out its values at all, but this, coming as it does with the scene just before it, shoots like a poignant cry to the very last scene. We wish that all the contrasts offered by the picture were as sincere. These scenes really live. The picture, as a whole, has much living truth, and is very effective. The camera work is good. - The Moving Picture World, May 11, 1912

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