7 user 1 critic

By the Sun's Rays (1914)

Not Rated | | Short, Action, Drama | 22 July 1914 (USA)

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A company detective goes undercover to expose a gang that uses inside information to rob gold shipments.




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Cast overview:
John Murdock - the Detective (as M.J. MacQuarrie)
Frank Lawler - the Clerk
Seymour Hastings ...
John Davis - Supt. of Mines
Agnes Vernon ...
Dora Davis - John's Daughter
Richard Rosson ...
The Bandit (as Dick Rosson)


Frank Lawler, a clerk for a mining company, colludes with a bandit gang about the timing of gold shipments with a mirror signal system and has designs on Doris Davis, the daughter of the local branch manager. The company's main office dispatches their top detective John Murdock, who goes undercover to expose the scheme and rescue the Doris from the unwanted advances of the dastardly Lawler. Written by duke1029@aol.com

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Short | Action | Drama | Western


Not Rated




Release Date:

22 July 1914 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Is the earliest known surviving film to feature Lon Chaney. He had appeared in thirty other films prior to this one however those films are now considered to be lost with no known prints in existence. See more »


The set used for the gold company office is obviously an outdoor set without a roof as the ledger pages on Chaney's desk can be seen blowing in the wind. Early sets were usually built without sets to take advantage of free natural lighting. See more »


John Murdock, the Detective: I am going to look around and will meet the posse at the crossroads.
See more »


Featured in Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

A two reel quickie Universal Western and early Lon Chaney
9 October 2000 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Mine boss Seymour Hastings (John Davis) suspects an inside accomplice when gold shipments keep getting stolen, so he sends east for help and is sent detective Murdock MacQuarrie (John Murdock). The detective sets out before the next shipment with a posse and finds that mine clerk Lon Chaney (Frank Lawler) is using a mirror to signal the bandits that shipments have left the mine.

Of interest mainly as an early work of Lon Chaney and of Tod Browning (director), seemingly the first surviving picture that both worked on. Some of the acting style that Lon Chaney became famous for are already evident.

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