Joe Lawson, a corrupt gold miner, kills his partner, his partner's wife and his own wife for the mine, and steals his partner's child, while abandoning his own child. He starts an outlaw ... See full summary »







Complete credited cast:
Joe Lawson
J. Edwin Brown ...
Martin (as Eddie Brown)
Hal Curtis
Evelyn Selbie ...
Hilda Hendricks
Tom Wilson ...
'Mac' Jepson
William Stowell ...
Bill The Boss
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bar Patron


Joe Lawson, a corrupt gold miner, kills his partner, his partner's wife and his own wife for the mine, and steals his partner's child, while abandoning his own child. He starts an outlaw town. 20 years later, his son returns as does his partner, who's not really dead, but is rather unhappy. Written by J. Theakston

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

1 September 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pay Day  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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This film is considered lost. Please check your attic. See more »

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User Reviews

Pay Me! (1917) -- Lost Silent
27 July 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Joe Lawson ( Lon Chaney ) and Hal Curtis ( William Clifford ) are partners in the "Unity" Gold Mine. Curtis is happily married with a lovely baby daughter, while Lawson is a cruel man who terrifies his sickly wife and their six-month old son. Lawson has been seeing Hilda ( Evelyn Selbie ), the daughter of the saloon owner, who begs him to take her away with him. Lawson plans to steal Curtis' half of the mine and sell it to Martin ( Ed Brown ), a disreputable but crafty man. He sneaks into Lawson's cabin to steal his deed when Curtis catches him. Lawson shoots, but hits Mrs. Lawson instead, then strangles Curtis, leaving their baby crying on the floor. Lawson sells the deed to Martin and tells Hilda they are leaving town. They pass by the Curtis cabin and, hearing the baby cry, Hilda goes in and takes the baby with them. Years pass, and the worst outlaw town in the west is Lawson City, ruled by the Mayor, "Killer" Lawson, who also runs "The Nugget" saloon. The one man Lawson respects is "Bad" Jepson ( Tom Wilson ), who has murdered ten men. Marta ( Dorothy Phillips ), Curtis' daughter, loathes and fears Lawson, but loves Hilda as her own mother. Carmencita ( Claire Du Brey ), a new dancer at the saloon, is Lawson's current favorite. A group of lumberjacks come into town, and among them is Bud Smith ( William Stowell ), the toughest fighter in the group. Smith sees Marta, is stunned by her girlish beauty, and gets up the courage to talk to her. Smith enters the saloon where Lawson and Jepson are in particularly foul moods that night. Lawson forces Marta to put on a dance hall skirt and deal cards. Smith sees her, and thinking that he has been deceived by a wicked woman, proceeds to humiliate her and kiss her roughly. Weeks pass, and one night Jepson and Smith argue over Marta. Lawson has finally recognized Smith as his own son who he abandoned, and knows that he is a witness to his previous murders. Lawson incites Smith and Jepson into a fight to the death, which Smith wins, but he is badly injured. Marta and Hilda help Smith to their cabin, when Jepson, who has recovered, enters the cabin and attacks Marta. Smith is revived and strikes Jepson, who hits his head and is killed. A stranger has arrived at the saloon, and Lawson soon recognizes him as Curtis, who he thought was dead. Lawson sneaks into his room, and when they fight, a lamp is broken and the saloon catches fire. Carmencita jumps from a window and is killed. Smith and Marta see the flames and hurry to the saloon. As Lawson is about to hurl Curtis from the window, Hilda shoots him. Curtis rescues Hilda from the burning building, and Marta tells Smith that Lawson was his father as well as hers. Curtis tells Marta that he is her real father, and she rushes to Smith's arms, delighted that they are not brother and sister.

This 1917 drama was produced by the Universal Film Manufacturing Company and sadly now remains a lost silent film.

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