6.4/10
183
6 user 1 critic

The Miser's Heart (1911)

Not Rated | | Short, Crime, Drama | 20 November 1911 (USA)
Thieves decide to steal the money an old miser has hidden away. He refuses to open the safe for them, so they threaten to kill a girl who lives in his building.

Director:

D.W. Griffith

Writer:

George Hennessy
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Cast

Credited cast:
Linda Arvidson ... Kathy's Mother
Lionel Barrymore ... Jules - the Thief
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... Policeman
Donald Crisp ... Policeman
Adele DeGarde ... Neighbor
Edward Dillon ... Down-and-Out Young Man
Frank Evans Frank Evans ... Policeman
Edith Haldeman ... The Little Child
Robert Harron ... Bakeshop Assistant
Adolph Lestina Adolph Lestina ... The Miser
Wilfred Lucas ... First Crook
Charles Hill Mailes ... Second Crook
Alfred Paget ... Policeman
W.C. Robinson W.C. Robinson ... Man In Front of Clothing Store
Ynez Seabury ... Little Kathy
Edit

Storyline

An old miser living in an east side tenement, forms quite an attachment for a little child in the same house. The old miser is reputed to keep a large amount of money in a safe in his room, and a couple of crooks decide to take a chance to get it. They enter his room by way of the fire-escape, and tying him to a chair, try to force him to tell the combination of his safe. The little child happens in the room, and to further compel him, they suspend the child out of the window on a rope, threatening to let her drop if he does not give the combination. A tramp sees the child hanging from the window and hastens to the police station for aid. On his way he passes a baker boy from whom he stole a bag of rolls, and the boy, following, has him locked up without giving him a chance to explain the object of his errand. The captain, however, consents to hear the tramp out, and sends a quartet of incredulous policemen, who receive a shock when they find the truth of the tramp's story. The child ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

miser | safe | petty thief | thief | rope | See All (25) »

Genres:

Short | Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1911 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Сердце скряги See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Quite An Interesting Drama
23 January 2006 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This is a somewhat uneven but very interesting D.W. Griffith drama, with many of the kinds of touches that came to characterize his work. He gets good performances from his cast, tells the story with his usual technical skill, and uses it to bring out some worthwhile insights on human nature. Only the rather contrived nature of the plot detracts from the overall quality. One of Lionel Barrymore's earliest roles also makes it well worth watching.

The story focuses on a young child - for whom Griffith takes care to build up sympathy before the main action starts - and her friendships with an old miser and with a homeless petty thief. When she is put in peril by a pair of dangerous criminals, both of her friends have tough decisions to make: the miser must choose between her safety and his money, while the thief would have to risk dealing with the police to save her.

Although some of the elements in the setup had to be forced slightly in order to bring about the key situation, this is certainly excusable in view of the interesting themes and ideas that it brings out. These are the kinds of contrasts and moral dilemmas that sometimes brought out the best in Griffith. It works well, and because the key ideas are so significant, it still holds up rather well, too.


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