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Brutality (1912)

An abusive father and husband attends a play one night and sees that the "villain" in the piece does to his family exactly what he is doing to his own family.


D.W. Griffith


D.W. Griffith




Credited cast:
Walter Miller ... The Young Man
Mae Marsh ... The Young Woman
Joseph Graybill ... The Victim of Anger
Elmer Booth ... Actor In Oliver Twist
Henry B. Walthall ... Actor In Oliver Twist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lionel Barrymore ... At Wedding
Clara T. Bracy ... At Wedding / At Theatre
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... At Theatre
Harry Carey ... At Theatre
John T. Dillon John T. Dillon ... At Wedding / Outside Bar
Frank Evans Frank Evans ... Outside Bar
Lillian Gish ... At Theatre
Madge Kirby Madge Kirby ... At Theatre
Walter P. Lewis Walter P. Lewis ... At Wedding
Charles Hill Mailes ... At Theatre


In every man struggles the two natures in conflict. Some, as in the case of the brute, pass through life dominated alone by brute force, until there comes a regenerating influence arousing the latent good. Into his life first comes the instinctive attraction for the coquetry of the maid, but the strength she may have fancied she admired in him turns into gross brutality, subduing her hidden spirit. Then two tickets for the theater change the entire course of his life. The Bill Sikes in the play holds up the mirror to the Bill Sikes in life, and both man and wife are born anew. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

brutal | bully | heater | See All (3) »


Short | Drama


Did You Know?


A print of this film survives in the Library of Congress. See more »


Featured in Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) See more »

User Reviews

The offering is one of those suggestive Biograph sermons
6 April 2017 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

"Brutality" seems an honest but a rather unfortunate title for so good a picture; such a name is hardly a recommendation. The offering is one of those suggestive Biograph sermons, like "The String of Pearls," but it is better. One finds a good deal of sincerity in it, and a good deal of human truth. There is also individuality of style and something of progressiveness and originality, which promises well for the future of the picture business. The Biograph producer plays upon his characters as though they were musical instruments, and we are full of admiration for the impressions he is able to make, just by facial expression. In his beautiful photographs his characters appear as through fine opera glasses. Every change of expression is more clearly pictured than if they were really before us, and one isn't embarrassed drinking the effect in. Is it not truly soul-music? Can such impressions be created in any other way than on the screen. The story is of a husband and his wife. The man has an ugly, brutal temper, especially when he is drunk. The girl had warning, the testimony of her own eyes, before she married him, but he said that her he never would hurt. They are working people, and not very long after the wedding the little wife finds this husband of hers different from what she hoped. The way he treats her, and her consequent attitude toward him, are very truthfully suggested; one sees things not unlike it now and then. The man finally sees himself at a show where "Oliver Twist" is being played, and repents. Miss Mae Marsh plays the wife and does admirably. The scenes, acting, photography are all that could be desired. The picture is a desirable offering. - The Moving Picture World, December 14, 1912

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None | English

Release Date:

2 December 1912 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brutalitet See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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