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The Deception (1909)

Of all the agonies of life, that which is most harrowing is the conviction that we have been deceived where we placed all the trust of love, and this is most apparent to Harry Colton, a ... See full summary »


D.W. Griffith


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Credited cast:
Barry O'Moore ... Harvey Colton (as Herbert Yost)
Florence Lawrence ... Mabel Colton
Harry Solter Harry Solter ... Harvey's Friend
Owen Moore ... The Rich Patron
Arthur V. Johnson ... The Rich Patron's Secretary / Man in Top Hat
Mack Sennett ... The Doctor
Charles Inslee ... The Landlord
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Linda Arvidson
Adele DeGarde ... At Laundry
Anita Hendrie Anita Hendrie ... At Laundry
Min Johnson Min Johnson ... At Laundry
David Miles ... At Laundry / At Conservatory
Dorothy West ... At Laundry


Of all the agonies of life, that which is most harrowing is the conviction that we have been deceived where we placed all the trust of love, and this is most apparent to Harry Colton, a young artist in the action of his wife, Mabel. It has been an arduous struggle for fame with poor Harry and when poverty's wolf is howling at their threshold he resolves to go out and seek employment which may not be as congenial as art, but will prove decidedly more remunerative. But his wife will not allow it. She pleads with him to hope on, work at his painting while she goes to seek a position as teacher of piano at the Conservatory, His ambitious spirit is compelling and he allows her to go. Piano lessons, indeed. The brave girl gets a job in the laundry at the washtubs. However, she has grit and with her first day's pay, one dollar, she drags her sore body homeward, stopping on the way to buy a few provisions. Dauntless, she goes the next day to give "piano lessons" at the washboard, and while ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama







Release Date:

22 March 1909 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Released as a split reel along with And a Little Child Shall Lead Them (1909). See more »

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User Reviews

A poor reception for 'Deception'.

I saw this short drama at the 1998 Cinema Muto festival in Pordenone; they screened a print from the Museum of Modern Art with the original intertitles missing.

IMDb's synopsis is accurate. This is very much a Victorian drama, with morality ditto. I was deeply annoyed by one sequence: when the husband finally makes good and sells one of his paintings, he goes to the conservatory (where he believes his wife is working to support him) to tell her the good news. When he realises that she doesn't work there, and that she lied to him ... get this, now ... he self-righteously resolves to LEAVE her. This despite the fact that she has been supporting him while he dilly-dallied with his paints and palettes. That's another thing I disliked about this movie: the husband allows his wife to support him so he can spend his time painting. Plenty of artistic types have managed to get 'real' jobs while seeking the muse on their time off and at weekends, so why couldn't this artist do likewise?

'The Deception' is thoroughly a product of its era, but even in that era -- when the husband was unquestionably expected to support the wife, rather than the other way round -- it must have been less than fully satisfying. My rating for this: 4 out of 10, mostly for the production design, and for Billy Bitzer's usual superb photography.

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