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A Safe Investment (I) (1915)

5.2
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A husband scolds his wife for not being able to manage her finances better. Unbeknown to her, he's getting rich from a crooked stock scam he's started, and is making so much money that he ... See full summary »

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Title: A Safe Investment (1915)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Sidney Drew ...
Charley Sharp
Mrs. Sidney Drew ...
Mrs. Sharp
Donald MacBride
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Storyline

A husband scolds his wife for not being able to manage her finances better. Unbeknown to her, he's getting rich from a crooked stock scam he's started, and is making so much money that he brings it home by the basketful. Unbeknown to him, his wife, determined to prove that she's more capable than he thinks she is, takes the money and decides to invest it--in a new stock opportunity she's heard about. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Comedy | Short

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22 October 1915 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Ponzi Before Ponzi
5 August 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Sidney Drew was the uncle of the more famous John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore, but in the mid 1910s he was famous for his short comedies with his second wife, made for Vitagraph and later their own company, releasing through Metro. Their forte was not slapstick, but situational comedy mocking middle-class neuroses. Their best work was typically written by Mrs. Drew and enhanced through Mr. Drew's wonderful stage business.

This is not one of their stronger pieces, but it has its charm and interest. Mr. Drew hatches a scheme with a couple of friends to bilk the public with a fake mine, paying a 50% dividend, paid by new investors, while Mr. Drew takes his profits home to his wife... and which she invests in the mine. While there is some very nice stage business, the piece is padded by a lot of titles describing the action seen on the screen, written in rhymes. It's still very amusing.

While it may surprise the modern viewer that they would come up with this Ponzi Scheme movie half a decade before Ponzi started his fraud, this was not a new idea. In the 1890s, "Ten Percent Miller" had bilked thousands out of enormous sums in Brooklyn, where the Drews' studio was based. Doubtless this movie was inspired by this and similar confidence games.


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