Bertha Gilman, helping her mother run a small hotel, is courted by Marshall Haney, gambler and saloonkeeper. She promises to marry him if he will give up his gambling habit and live on the ... See full summary »




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Cast overview:
Ben Fordyce
Laura Winston ...
Mrs. Gilman
Bertha Gilman
Marshall Haney
Florence Dye ...
Alice Heath


Bertha Gilman, helping her mother run a small hotel, is courted by Marshall Haney, gambler and saloonkeeper. She promises to marry him if he will give up his gambling habit and live on the income of $100,000 which he receives yearly from the mines he honestly acquired. A miner who has been fleeced of his money in the gaming hall after Haney sells out shoots Haney. Bertha and Haney are married, and she nurses him back to health, though he remains badly crippled. They move to Colorado Springs, and buy a magnificent home. Later Bertha meets Ben Fordyce, an honorable young man, engaged to Alice Heath, a consumptive. Haney and his wife go east at the same time that Ben takes his affianced wife back. The four travel on the same train, and during the trip Ben and Bertha become more attached to each other. Both, however, remain loyal to their trusting ones. In the east Bertha's longing for Ben becomes almost unbearable. Her husband, noting her morose condition and being apprised of the cause ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »






Release Date:

5 February 1917 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The promise is not borne out
2 February 2015 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

The opening reel of "Money Magic," the five-reel Vitagraph from a story by Hamlin Garland, released February 5, gives promise of an uncommonly good photoplay; the promise is not borne out, however, by the remaining reels. This may be put down to two causes: the introduction of two invalids as prominent characters and too frequent shifting of the locale. The amount of railroad travel in the picture is surprising, to say the least. Up to the moment when Marshall Haney is shot and Bertha Gilman consents to marry him, the story pulses "with vigorous and comparatively fresh phases of life. Haney is supposed to be at the point of death and makes Bertha his wife in order that he may leave her his fortune. He does not die, but becomes an almost helpless cripple, and Bertha learns, too late, that she is in love with another man. The object of her affection, a young lawyer, is engaged to an eastern girl, a consumptive, who has come west for her health. The two invalids find out how matters stand between Bertha and the lawyer, and sacrifice themselves for the sake of the lovers. The presence of the invalids in the story should have been confined to the last reel. Dragged through three reels, they become depressing, and indicate the only logical ending for the story at too early a period. The old stage rule of confining all cases of ill health on the part of the heroine or hero to the last act, would be an excellent rule for the screen. Marshall Haney, as played by William Duncan, is the hero of "Money Magic." The part is ably conceived by the author and splendidly acted by Mr. Duncan. Edith Storey as Bertha Gilman gives another strongly marked and uniformly fine performance. There is an individuality to Miss Storey's work that is one of its best features. Antonio Moreno, the third member of the group of stars, demonstrates his right to the position, and Florence Dye, Laura Winston, and the unlisted members of the cast, make the performance one of unvarying merit. William Wolbert has been unrestricted in his use of adequate settings, and has employed his material with well considered effect. – The Moving Picture World, February 10, 1917

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