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Lost Vitagraph Drama

Author: Pamela Short from Canada
12 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This 1917 drama starring the popular actress, Alice Joyce, was produced by the Vitagraph Company and sadly now remains a lost film. I have found an original film review to share with the reader.

Moving Picture World, June 23, 1917 -

Dr. Rundel, a scientist, is devoting is life to the search of a new serum; he is aided by John Stedman, a young chemist. Realizing that his pursuit might not be concluded in his own lifetime, he decides to train Stedman so that he can carry on the work. To this end, he has made his will, leaving to Stedman all his money and the key to the formula, without which the young man could not hope to find the much-desired serum. Dr. Rundel's only condition is that John devote all his time and energy to the work in hand, which means, automatically, that he shall not marry. John is in love with Martha Wainwright, daughter of a clergyman, and when he attends a social function at the Wainwright home against the doctor's wishes, the latter in incensed. He adds a codicil to his will specifying that John shall not inherit the money and the formula until he signs an agreement not to marry until the work is finished. After Dr. Rundel's death John works hard, secretly hoping that he will succeed in the work and be able to marry Martha. He breaks under the strain, and Martha's father, certain in his own mind, that John never will succeed, urges Martha to marry a wealthy suitor named Cosgrove. She refuses. John collapses and she hurries to him. She realizes that he needs her, and, torn by the question of love vs. convention, she decides to remain with John. She and John suffer from the scandal her act inspires, and the end comes when she realizes that she is dragging John downward by marrying with him. She then offers to marry Cosgrove, but he offers her only a substitute. John intervenes during a struggle between the girl and Cosgrove. The two men engage in combat. At this stage the picture turns back and shows that all of this action has occurred in a dream of old Dr. Rundel. He is shown dreaming at his table when he telephone awakens him. John at the other end of the line announces his engagement to Martha, and the old scientist, the fearful dream still vivid in his mind, readily extends congratulations to his young assistant.

The excellent acting of the entire cast, which includes Harry Morey, Alice Joyce, Charles Kent, Gladden James, Amy Remley, Edwards Davis and Mr. Wangaman, brings out the author's intent with perfect clearness.

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