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The Lily of the Tenements (1911)

Here we find a youthful toiler at a sewing machine eking the lives of her poor old mother and father. She receives a mere pittance for her labor, and this barely gives them plain food ... See full summary »


D.W. Griffith


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Credited cast:
Dorothy West ... The Tenement Girl
Clara T. Bracy Clara T. Bracy ... The Tenement Girl's Mother
W. Chrystie Miller ... The Tenement Girl's Father
George Nichols ... Tenement Owner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... One of the Father's Friends
Donald Crisp
Francis J. Grandon Francis J. Grandon ... The Doctor
Arthur V. Johnson
Adolph Lestina Adolph Lestina ... One of the Father's Friends
Owen Moore
Alfred Paget ... A Customer
W.C. Robinson W.C. Robinson ... The Butler
Blanche Sweet


Here we find a youthful toiler at a sewing machine eking the lives of her poor old mother and father. She receives a mere pittance for her labor, and this barely gives them plain food without having much for the rent of their cheerless rooms. The owner of the tenements calls for payment, and being a man of unconscionable principles offers her a means of ameliorating her condition and giving aid and ease to her and her own instead of the hopeless toil she is subjected to. The temptation is great, but her pure soul rebels against this contemptible assault and she sends him away, promising to pay the next day. What a rash promise, for she has no hopes aside from that which would be miraculous. Upon the owner's return to his office he is met by his son who is just back from college. This son is the father's one real love. He has built great hopes for him and at once makes him a member of the firm. The next day the owner goes to re-offer his proposition, feeling that by this time she has ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Plot Keywords:

slum | melodrama | See All (2) »


Short | Drama







Release Date:

27 February 1911 (USA) 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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User Reviews

Made a deep impression upon an audience
22 November 2015 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

A story of what befalls some of the girls unfortunate enough to live in the tenements. Often they are forced, as was almost the case in this instance, to sacrifice themselves to secure the wherewithal to live. The graphic way in which this is represented here made a deep impression upon an audience, even in New York, where the thing is so common that a considerable proportion of the population wink at it as a necessity, and let it pass. The happy ending for the poor girl, following the denunciation of his father by the young man, is dramatic, but, unfortunately, few instances of this sort actually occur. The value of this picture will be in depicting the life history of some of the poor whose meed of trouble is too much sometimes for them to bear. - The Moving Picture World, March 11, 1911

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