Pretty boardinghouse maid Constance Talmadge (as Betsy Randall) reads romance novels and dreams of an end to her drudgery. Delivery boy Clyde Hopkins (as Oscar Schlitz), an amateur detective, is her most notable boyfriend. With the arrival of handsome boarder Kenneth Harlan (as Harry Brent), Ms. Talmadge's drab life becomes a romantic adventure. The mysterious Mr. Harlan informs Talmadge he is searching for a stolen inheritance, which may be located in a tin box held by Joseph Singleton and Josephine Cromwell (as Mr. & Mrs. Dunn), an old couple who also rents. Although Harlan's story seems far-fetched, Talmadge is so charmed by him she agrees to steal the box from the strange couple...
When Mr. Singleton is suddenly murdered, Talmadge and Harlan become prime suspects Unfortunately, "Betsy's Burglar" is not available today
and, like most other films of unknown status, it's not likely to turn
up anytime soon. In "Photoplay" (May 1917), reviewer Julian Johnson considered it "the most enjoyable five-reeler I saw last month." Mr. Johnson praised the writer (Frank E. Woods) and director (Paul Powell) for "expert story-telling."
"Our grocery youth (Clyde Hopkins), a correspondence school detective, is a vital factor from the first reel to the last. He punctures the most serious situations with laughter, even as the sod pharmacist his successful rival's chocolate with a shot of salt. Dunn and his wife, admirably played by Joseph Singleton and Josephine Crowell; the boarding house proprietress, by Kate Bruce," Johnson continued, "are perfect bits of small city life. Wood has never a moment of lost motion. His story is continually moving, but he is injecting atmosphere into your eyes by the gallon."
Constance Talmadge was considered "as vivid and real as the story itself. Here is a remarkable young woman. If she continues to have as good direction as Powell supplies her, she will develop into the screen's finest ingénue," and, "Kenneth Harlan, playing Brent, is a splendid addition to the ranks of leading lads who are at once handsome and real."
****** Betsy's Burglar (3/4/17) Paul Powell ~ Constance Talmadge, Kenneth Harlan, Clyde Hopkins, Joseph Singleton
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