A caring stranger tries to help the child of a chronic drunkard.
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The wife lies on her death bed; the little boy, a cripple, is selling papers. The drunken father watches on the corner to take the pennies from the boy. An old man passing drops his wallet and the little boy restores the same to the loser who takes him along to buy him a square meal and some good clothes. He then brings him home. The dying wife begs the stranger to look out for her boy and after having received his promise she falls back, dead. The drunken father comes in but is shown the door by the old man. After the mother is buried the old man takes the boy to his home and adopts him. The drunkard learning of a sum of money in the house of the boy's benefactor tries to break open the safe. Discovered by his son, the old man is called. The drunkard is shot in the fight. Thus the drunkard's son has twice saved his protector from great loss. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Short

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9 August 1909 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Released as a split reel along with The Newest Woman (1909). See more »

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A Fairly Interesting Melodrama
18 February 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This short melodrama is fairly interesting, if sometimes plain, and it offers a relatively involved story that is also somewhat interesting as a look at some of the social conditions in its era. Although the details of the situation that it describes would be rather different today, some of the main themes would still be just as pertinent.

The story revolves around a family that is going through some tough times. The mother is seriously ill, the father is a drunk and probably a thief, and the young boy is on crutches while he works to support the others. A kindly stranger enters their world, and the mother, especially, looks to him for help.

In comparing the setup to what might likely be the case today, there is an obvious innocence about the mother so readily accepting a stranger's involvement with her son, but at the same time, through the father character and some of the other events, there is a somber sense of reality that takes away any suggestion of naiveté on the part of the film-makers. Sometimes the initial response to the scenarios in these very old films is to think that things are much different now, but a more careful look will sometimes reveal some even more significant similarities.

The story plays out in a generally straightforward fashion. Its main strength is probably the array of settings, using some stage sets and some outdoor sets, which keep it from getting too stale. The story itself is a little predictable, and there is nothing particularly original about it, yet it is told well enough to keep your attention.


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