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The Awakening of John Bond (1911)

A slumlord learns just how important it is to maintain clean living quarters when his wife contracts tuberculosis.


(as Oscar C. Apfel),




Cast overview:
Nellie O'Brien
Harold M. Shaw ...
George O'Brien
Philip Tannura ...
A Younger O'Brien
Kathleen Coughlin ...
A Younger O'Brien
Joseph Levering ...
Treasurer of the Tuberculosis Committee (as Joseph M. Levering)


John Bond, a wealthy politician, ignores the tenement inspector's warning to make the necessary repairs to conform with the city's laws, and refuses his support to the Tuberculosis Committee when asked to assist in legislation that will provide funds for sufferers of consumption. Living in one of his tenements is the O'Brien family, consisting of four children. The oldest of these is George, aged twenty-one, who is the only bread-winner. Descended from consumptive parents, the entire family is more or less affected with the disease, their wretched surroundings hurrying them to an early grave. John Bond marries and takes his bride on a honeymoon cruise on his yacht, "Sylvia." It so happens that George O'Brien obtains employment on the "Sylvia" and, during the cruise, is taken ill. The surgeon pronounces him in the last stages of consumption. His condition arouses the sympathy of the bride, who nurses the patient daily. He steadily grows worse, despite her attentions, and, just before ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama





Release Date:

4 December 1911 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

It teaches a lesson to selfish property owners
13 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

It is a film with a mission, and a very worthy one. Its principal object is to disseminate information as to what becomes of the money that is received from the sale of Red Cross Stamps at holiday time. Incidentally it teaches a lesson to selfish property owners who neglect everything about their tenement properties except the collection of rents. John Bond was such a man. He didn't care the snap of his finger how many unfortunate souls lived and died of dread consumption in his tenements; all he wanted was rent, until one day his selfishness was brought directly home to him and he began to see things in another light. The story is cleverly put together and is exceedingly well acted in the best Edison fashion. The plot has to do with the dealings of John Bond with the O'Brien family, who were tubercular tenants of his. Their unfortunate condition was a matter of indifference to him. One day John Bond took unto himself a bride. On the same day George O'Brien shipped as a common seaman on Bond's yacht, which was used for the honeymoon. On the voyage young O'Brien succumbed to the ravages of tuberculosis. During his last illness Mrs. Bond nursed the young man and contracted the disease herself, and from that time on John Bond was obliged to view the tuberculosis question from quite a different angle than before. Step by step we observe the awakening of John Bond. The picture becomes intensely dramatic as it proceeds. The big dramatic scene is when Nellie O'Brien calls by request upon Mrs. Bond to receive the trinkets bequeathed by her brother in care of that very good lady. There in his mansion Nellie comes face to face with her heartless landlord. The sight of him is sufficient to send the girl into hysterics, and Mrs. Bond becomes aware of how her husband's money is really made; after which she takes a hand in the matter and assists in his awakening. The work of Mary Fuller as Nellie O'Brien is a masterpiece. At the beginning a perfect portrayal of quiet submission, it changes in a flash to the violent outpouring of a burdened soul. Seldom do we see such splendid examples of dynamics as this one. John Bond was typical and well personified by Bigelow Cooper. George O'Brien was a short but well- acted part by Harold M. Shaw. Mrs. Bond was done by Miriam Nesbitt, leaving nothing to be desired. - The Moving Picture World, November 18, 1911

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