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When the Earth Trembled (1913)

A mother with two young children survives the San Francisco earthquake disaster.





Cast overview:
Paul Girard Jr.
Dora Sims
Richard Morris ...
Mrs. George W. Walters ...
Coffee Mary
Bartley McCullum ...
Paul Girard Sr.
Mary Powers ...
Dora's Little Girl
Layton Meisle ...
Dora's Little Boy
John Pearce


A mother with two young children survives the San Francisco earthquake disaster.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

12 June 1914 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

When the Earth Trembled or the Power of Love  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the earthquake scene, female lead Ethel Clayton was hit full in the face by a falling chandelier. Since there was no chance for a second take (the sets took four months to build), Ms. Clayton soldiered on. See more »

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User Reviews

Lubin thrillers
15 December 2016 | by (France) – See all my reviews

A copy of this film (not a particularly good print and, by the looks of it, missing footage here and there) is preserved in the Desmet collection (available via the EYE website) and it is a useful reminder of how little we know about the output of the Lubin at this or indeed any period.

Siegmund Lubin had founded his company in 1897 and, despite continual harassment from Edison, somehow managed to keep afloat until 1917 and it was ultimately a major fire (June 1914) that put him out of business rather than Edison (himself in trouble by that time). For much of the time he had been something of a one-man-band, operating from his own backyard in Philadelphia and relying on pirated material or homemade copies of films made by the larger companies.

By 1910 however he had established his own Lubinville studios and was making really quite ambitious films. Also notable among the Lubin films in the Desmet Collection is The District Attorney's Conscience, a complex half-hour industrial thriller directed by Tefft Johnson.

Lubin also liked to make thrillers with strongly topical settings. As early as 1907, The Unwritten Law, is a case in point, a twelve-minute dramatization of the real-life shooting of Stanford White, architect and socialite, by Harry K. Thaw. In this film, a multiple disaster film (shipwreck and earthquake), the setting is partly the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and makes use of newsreel footage (Lubin had brought out The San Francisco Disaster in the same year).

There are, by my count, about twenty odd Lubin films available on the web (many of them in the Desmet collection) but it would be nice if we had still more, particularly the more complex narrative thrillers, a genre that remained rare in the US although it was beginning to become important in Europe (in France, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands).

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