Worth seeing just for its peculiar take on societal morals,
At the end of 'The Phable of a Busted Romance (1915),' the animators add a neat little closing title-card, just to clarify the moral of the story: "Even a dime's worth of gratitude is sometimes too much." Even when it's spelled out for me, I'm still not sure what the filmmakers are trying to get at: should all good deeds go unrewarded? Should one even bother with good deeds? Is the US-Canadian exchange rate so incredibly asymmetric that a single Canadian dime can purchase a flying car? Perhaps there's no point being made, and the animators are simply having a little fun, satirising the moral-ridden short cartoons that I presume would have been prevalent during those times. The animation gives the impression that it was drawn quickly and cheaply, and the quality of the video I saw (available from the Library of Congress website) was such that the speech bubbles were virtually impossible to make out.
Dennis O'Shay is a big, dim and brutish sort of man, but his heart is in the right place. After he sees a rich lady drop her purse, Dennis lunges to her aid, snatching up the purse and presenting it to her "in his best Chesterfieldian manner." From this point, we imagine what rewards would have been bestowed upon the kind-hearted Dennis if this had been a perfect world. The lady would have taken him to visit her father. The father would have sent him to college, and made him President of his gold-mining corporation. But, alas, we do not live in a perfect world, and, after counting that the entire $10,000 still remains in her purse, the young woman offers Dennis a Canadian dime, which he uses to buy an exploding flying automobile. Has anybody deciphered this film yet?
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