A newspaper woman buys a statuette from an Italian peddler and is given her change in counterfeit bills. Throught the peddler, she tracks down the counterfeiters.
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A newspaper woman buys a statuette from an Italian peddler and is given her change in counterfeit bills. Throught the peddler, she tracks down the counterfeiters.

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Short | Drama

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22 September 1912 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A Counterfeit Movie
9 August 2016 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Marion Leonard, a reporter for the DAILY LEADER decides to tackle the counterfeiting ring by posing as a counterfeiter herself in this short film for Rex. If you wish to look at it yourself, it is on the Eye Institute site on YouTube.

Movies in which the authorities tackle counterfeiters seem very numerous in the first decade of the 20th century. Why a Nickelodeon audience should care whether gold coins or paper money was real or not, escapes me; certainly they saw little enough of either. Perhaps the businessmen were projecting their own anxieties and the audience was willing to go along if the story and action were good enough.

Alas, while the story is good, there is something wrong with the action, or more precisely, the acting. This movie is directed by one Biograph veteran and stars another, yet Miss Leonard seems to think she can carry on a conversation through gesture; this was never done at Biograph, since D.W. Griffith understood the limits of pantomime. Perhaps the people at Rex disagreed. If so, they were mistaken.


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