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A Corner in Wheat (1909)

An unscrupulous and greedy capitalist speculator decides to corner the wheat market for his own profit, establishing complete control over the markets.


D.W. Griffith
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Frank Powell ... The Wheat King
Grace Henderson Grace Henderson ... The Wheat King's Wife
James Kirkwood ... The Farmer
Linda Arvidson ... The Farmer's Wife
W. Chrystie Miller ... The Farmer's Father
Gladys Egan ... The Farmer's Little Daughter
Henry B. Walthall ... The Wheat King's Assistant


A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film continues to contrast the ironic differences between the lives of those who work to grow the wheat and the life of the man who dabbles in its sale for profit. Written by James Meek <james@oz.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Crime | Drama


G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Griffith's film is something of a respectful pastiche of the work of the American writer Frank Norris (1870-1902). A scheme to corner the wheat market drives the plot of his novel "The Pit" (published 1903). An unscrupulous capitalist who receives his comeuppance literally smothered in wheat appears in his novel "The Octopus" (1901). Even the film's title is a variation on that of Norris' short story "A Deal in Wheat" (1903). See more »


When the Wheat King reads the letter regarding his increase in wealth, he is wearing gloves. After he falls into the wheat pit, there is an un-gloved hand reaching for the heavens; however, when they pull him out, he is once again wearing gloves. See more »


Featured in Sosialismi (2014) See more »

User Reviews

29 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Corner in Wheat, A (1909)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

One of D.W. Griffith's best shorts. This one deals with an evil tycoon who makes the price of wheat go up for his own profit but by doing this is causes the poor to suffer. Here's another film where Griffith takes out his anger of being poor and he hits all the right notes making this a high energy and downright dirty tale. The way Griffith shows the poor is wonderfully done and the ending is great as well. Of historical importance, this was the first film to get reviewed in a NY newspaper, which also makes the historians believe that this was the first film reviewed anywhere in the world. Films were discussed in papers before this one but this was the first to actually get its own review.

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None | English

Release Date:

13 December 1909 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A gabonatőzsde spekulánsai See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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