John Ryan is discharged by Robert Brown, the manager, and two months later his family is in sore straits. Brown is called away from home one evening and Ryan, in a dark mood, sees him go ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
John Ryan


John Ryan is discharged by Robert Brown, the manager, and two months later his family is in sore straits. Brown is called away from home one evening and Ryan, in a dark mood, sees him go down the street. A wild Idea of robbing Brown's home seizes him and be forces an entrance and cuts the telephone wires. Upstairs the baby has swallowed some poison and the frantic mother rushes to the 'phone to call a doctor. Ryan seeks to escape, but she clings desperately to him and finally makes him understand the situation. He rushes out, brings back a doctor and the child's life is saved. The next day Brown rewards him by putting him back to work. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Short





Release Date:

2 September 1911 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The ending of the incident is somewhat awkward
10 April 2016 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

Mr. William Walthall, by his strong, human interpretation of the unfortunate workman in this picture, places himself in the very front of moving picture players. He shows his intelligence by his carefulness all through the picture for the little, unnoticeable things, the hand to the hat, the slight gesture.. He plays it like a man who makes a specialty of such parts, who has lived among workingmen and who knows them through and through, but he is not so limited. His faculty of interpreting character doesn't leave him when he is picturing personalities of very different experience in life. The workman in "Clouds and Sunshine" is, however, picturesque; the character gives him a fine chance and he makes good use of it. It is not an American, not a Yankee workman that he pictures. Perhaps it's a Russian or a Polock; it is a peasant. This man with a family to support is deprived of his means of livelihood. A mistake had been made in the shop. It seems to have been not wholly the man's fault. Perhaps an ambiguous 7 or 9 on the drawings had been the cause of the trouble. It seems to have been open to discussion anyway; but the irritated manager discharges him. The scenes, through what may be called the first and second acts of the picture, are as true as sunlight and darkness are true, and go down into one of the bitterest pits of modern life. The man can't find work, seek where he will. The wife helps some, all she can. They still have bread and coffee; but the man waives the bread aside; the wife and child need it and there isn't overmuch. Despair is around his neck like a yoke. In the last act the man becomes a burglar. We cannot help pointing out that this is a weakness in the play and though it does not wholly kill our sympathy for the man it maims it for a time until the man by a courageous act rehabilitates himself. The way this rehabilitation was effected was not easy to make convincing and the picture of it isn't able to convince us powerfully. The man downstairs has cut the telephone wires and is collecting the silver. The woman of the house, upstairs, discovers that her little girl has drunk poison medicine. She comes down to call the doctor. The telephone is useless. The burglar appears. The mother begs him to go for a doctor. To show him the trouble, she takes him to the nursery where the child lies unconscious. The burglar goes for help. This is convincing as far as the burglar is concerned; but it would have taken a great actress to make it convincing in the mother. The ending of the incident, after the doctor has come, is somewhat awkward. The burglar might have come with him into the nursery again, but more likely he would have remained at the door till he knew the outcome. The owner of the house, returning, would hardly have brought the suspected burglar again upstairs, at least not into the room. It was easiest to show it that way, though. It makes an interesting and commendable picture. - The Moving Picture World, September 16, 1911

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