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Doctor Maxwell's Experiment (1913)

A criminal is turned into a honest man through a surgical operation.




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Cast overview:
Bill Dawson - the Thief
Alice - Dr. Maxwell's Daughter
Dr. John Maxwell


Dr. John Maxwell, a surgeon, comes home to find his daughter, Alice, awaiting him asleep. He sends her to bed, and reads of a new operation upon the brain that will change a criminal into an honest man. He resolves to test it. An hour later, Bill Dawson, a burglar, enters the house. Maxwell captures him, and gives Bill the choice between jail and the operating table. Bill chooses the latter. The operation succeeds, and to the delight of Alice, William is sent away a few weeks later to begin life anew. Dawson becomes a successful man of business, but loses frack of his benefactor. Two years pass by. Unknown to Dawson, Dr. Maxwell has gone the road to ruin. Dawson advertises for a stenographer and Rodney, his manager, sends a girl into his private office. The girl is Alice Maxwell. "What has happened?" demands Dawson, after the recognition. Alice shows him a worn-out letter, "Dear Alice," it reads, "speculation and morphine have rained me. Save what you can of the home. I cannot face ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Short





Release Date:

28 February 1913 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Neglected the chances of showing human things
8 August 2017 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

This picture tells its story in a rather bare way, with long skips across time, as though the producer depended on the startling contrasts brought out by the development of the situation and neglected the chances of showing human things. Consequently our sole interest is in what is going to happen next, and none of the characters convince or give us any interest outside of the story. Yet this story plainly kept the audience attentive. Arthur Johnson, its producer, plays a burglar who is caught by Dr. Maxwell (Charles Brandt) and made to submit to an operation that cures him of criminality. Lottie Briscoe plays the doctor's daughter. All do as well as their lines let them. The photography is all that could be desired. - The Moving Picture World, March 15, 1913

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