MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 31,814 this week

The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (1914)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  24 August 1914 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 776 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 9 critic

Objected to date his sweetheart by his uncle, a young man turns his thoughts to murder.

Director:

Writers:

(stories),
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1000 titles
created 09 Jan 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 09 May 2012
 
a list of 2520 titles
created 12 Oct 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 10 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (1914)

The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (1914) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'.

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

As inspector Juve seems to be unable to put Fantômas behind bars the Press comes up with the idea Juve must be Fantômas himself! Juve is soon jailed as an attempt to ease the stress on his ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Feuillade
Stars: René Navarre, Georges Melchior, Laurent Morléas
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Charlie talks wealthy farmer's daughter Tillie into eloping with him (and taking her father's money). In the city Tillie gets drunk and lands in jail while Charlie runs off with her money ... See full summary »

Directors: Mack Sennett, Charles Bennett
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young wife and her musician husband live in poverty in a New York City tenement. The husband's job requires him to go away for for a number of days. On his return, he is robbed by the ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Elmer Booth, Lillian Gish, Clara T. Bracy
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Young Pauline is left a lot of money when her wealthy uncle dies. However, her uncle's secretary has been named as her guardian until she marries, at which time she will officially take ... See full summary »

Directors: Louis J. Gasnier, Donald MacKenzie
Stars: Pearl White, Crane Wilbur, Paul Panzer
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal with the young man to give him fabulous wealth and anything he wants, if he will sign... See full summary »

Director: Stellan Rye
Stars: Paul Wegener, John Gottowt, Grete Berger
Ingeborg Holm (1913)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ingeborg Holm's husband opens up a grocery store and life is on the sunny side for them and their three children. But her husband becomes sick and dies. Ingeborg tries to keep the store, ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Hilda Borgström, Aron Lindgren, Erik Lindholm
Cinderella (1914)
Fantasy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Based on the fairy tale: Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, but is able to go to the royal ball through the help of the Fairy Godmother.

Director: James Kirkwood
Stars: Mary Pickford, Owen Moore, Isabel Vernon
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Spottiswoode Aitken
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Susie, a plain young country girl, secretly loves a neighbor boy, William. She believes in him and sacrifices much of her own happiness to promote his own ambitions, all without his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Wilbur Higby
Regeneration (1915)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At 10 years old, Owens becomes a ragged orphan when his sainted mother dies. The Conways, who are next door neighbors, take Owen in, but the constant drinking by Jim soon puts Owen on the ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Rockliffe Fellowes, Anna Q. Nilsson, William Sheer
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An out-of-work swindler takes a job as a reporter. After witnessing a car go over cliff, he grabs a rival reporter's camera and races to the newspaper office to enter the photo as his own. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Lehrman
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Emma Bell Clifton, Chester Conklin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An orphan girl is given shelter by a farm family, but soon finds herself in the clutches of a murderous farmer and his wife.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Ralph Graves
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Henry B. Walthall ...
Spottiswoode Aitken ...
The Uncle
...
The Nephew's Sweetheart
...
The Italian
Ralph Lewis ...
...
The Maid
...
The Grocery Boy
George Beranger ...
(as George A. Berranger)
Edit

Storyline

Thwarted by his despotic uncle from continuing his love affair, a young man turns to thoughts of murder. Experiencing a series of visions, he sees murder as a normal course of events in life and kills his uncle. Tortured by his conscience, his future sanity is uncertain as he is assailed by nightmarish visions of what he has done. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 August 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Murderer's Conscience  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Intertitle: She fears something more than mere mental derangement.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kingdom of Shadows (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"For the moon never beams without giving me dreams"
2 September 2009 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

If DW Griffith is fondly remembered at all these days, it is usually for his exhilarating rides-to-the-rescue or the breathtaking pageantry of his epics. Those who have studied his work in any depth will of course know of his fine and subtle handling of drama and romance. However far fewer have commented on his masterful evocation of atmosphere. This, his only entry into the horror genre, a genre that is nine-tenths atmosphere, is appropriately steeped in it.

Griffith was of course a visual storyteller, but he learnt techniques of narrative and exposition from the world of literature. In the Avenging Conscience, he not only bases his story on the work of Edgar Allen Poe, but he juxtaposes the horrific with the beautiful and tender, as did Poe, Bram Stoker and many other Victorian horror writers. This uncomfortable contrast is established from the very first scene. As the opening shot fades in, we are clearly looking at a funeral scene, but then cut immediately to a baby in his cot – innocent life in the midst death. Throughout the picture Griffith shows an unusually high number of inserts which do not directly tell part of the story, but which add layers of terror or revulsion – such as a howling wolf or an owl hooting in the trees. A dreamlike tone is maintained throughout, with few title cards, but some snippets of Poe's poetry that relate to the story only in an abstract manner.

The Avenging Conscience also contains some wonderful examples of Griffith's handling of dramatic depth. He keeps his camera at a respectful distance during the romantic scenes, refraining from facial close-ups until the latter moments, and then only using them sparingly to give them maximum impact. Some might pick at the fact that the camera is always static, and there is little editing within the scene, but in fact this just goes to demonstrate just how much a director can do with movement within the frame. To take one example from this picture – in the earlier scenes at the uncle's house, there is a birdcage with a few canaries hopping around inside it. In later scenes it is covered up, twisting forlornly on its hook. It's a great touch to establish mood, but Griffith doesn't draw our attention to it with a clumsy close-up or lumbering pan; our eyes will be drawn to it because it is moving while other things in the frame are still. Audience members will notice it without feeling like they have been forced to notice it.

Sadly, the few limitations of Griffith's technique do stick out in this one. In particular, his tendency to keep all characters involved in a scene on screen at the same time makes shots (such as the uncle hiding in a bush to spy on the courting couple) look ridiculous. Also, without point-of-view shots, some moments can be a bit confusing, as it is impossible to tell who is looking at what. But these are small worries, and the Avenging Conscience is far more coherent and realistic than the many other pictures of its day.

If Judith of Bethulia was a dress-rehearsal for the massive action spectacles of Griffith's longer features, the Avenging Conscience was perhaps a dry-run for the subtle romantic drama which brought balance to those pictures. But it's also one of the most unique and remarkable shots in his canon, creeping us out with horror imagery five years before Caligari, creating tension out of guilt thirty years before Double Indemnity, with a climax that will startle those who think they know Griffith's cinema.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Griffith in Germany: Avenging Conscience hml-3

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?