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An Unsullied Shield (1913)

While their degenerate descendant sleeps, ancestral portraits come alive and admonish him.





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Cast overview:
Wadsworth Harris ...
The Duke of Rutland
The Sleeping Descendant of the Duke
Margery Bonney Erskine ...
The Duchess of Rutland (as Mrs. Wallace Erskine)
Harry B. Eytinge ...
The Money Lender (as Harry Eytinge)
The Admiral Ancestor
The Warrior Ancestor
The Statesman Ancestor


His Grace, the Duke of Rutland, is dying and his family consisting of his wife and his only son are at his bedside. He admonishes his son to live up to the best traditions of his ancestors and the boy swears to he a worthy son of a worthy sire and takes his mother in his arms, indicating that he will he henceforth her refuge, whereupon the old duke passes away happily contented. We later see the Duke in a Monte Carlo Casino; he loses to such an extent that he is wiped out and can only continue playing on I.O.U's. Upon returning to London he borrows money from a notorious money lender whom he promises to pay back in thirty days. He forgets about the obligation, but a month later he is forcibly reminded of it by the money lender who threatens to expose him. He promises to settle the following day. Afraid of exposure he forges his mother's name to a check. Later sitting in front of several great paintings of his ancestors, conspicuous among which is a shield, he falls asleep and in his ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Short





Release Date:

7 January 1913 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edison Company production number 7216. See more »


Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

It's a good, fresh offering and will be liked as something different
30 April 2017 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

We suspect that the author of this unusual picture is an Englishman; his hero is a duke. The climax comes in a dream scene in which the duke, who is fast, needs money and has just forged his mother's name, thinks he sees his ancestors come down from pictures on the wall and remonstrate with him as an unworthy scion of his house. Three paintings free themselves from frames to show to him the glory of his heroic forebears and to make him disgusted with himself. That they succeed makes the offering pleasant, and in a measure encouraging. It's a good, fresh offering and will be liked as something different. Mark MacDermott plays the duke: Wadsworth Harris, his dying father; Mrs. Wallace Erskine, his mother; Harry Eyting, a money lender (a good sketch). Walter Edwin plays his warrior ancestor; Herbert Prior, his sea-fighting ancestor, and Augustus Phillips, his statesman ancestor. The author is Chas. J. Brabin. - The Moving Picture World, January 18, 1913

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