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The Transformation of Mike (1912)

Mike breaks into an apartment to steal an old man's money, not realizing it's his girlfriend's father. When he discovers whose apartment it is, he begs her for forgiveness.


D.W. Griffith


Wilfred Lucas


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Credited cast:
Wilfred Lucas ... Mike
Blanche Sweet ... The Tenement Girl
Edna Foster ... The Tenement Girl's Brother
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... The Tenement Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ... A Neighbor
Christy Cabanne Christy Cabanne ... In Bar (as W. Christy Cabanne)
Max Davidson ... Landlord
John T. Dillon John T. Dillon ... A Policeman / At Dance
Frank Evans Frank Evans ... A Policeman
Robert Harron ... At Dance
Grace Henderson Grace Henderson ... At Dance
J. Jiquel Lanoe J. Jiquel Lanoe ... In Bar / At Dance
Joseph McDermott Joseph McDermott ... In Bar / At Dance
Gus Pixley ... At Dance
W.C. Robinson W.C. Robinson ... In Bar / At Dance


Mike, a gang leader, never before knew what power there was in a good woman's persuasion, and when he met the little girl of the tenement he involuntarily exclaimed, "There's a real girl." At a dance given in the neighborhood, he hunts for her and despite the efforts of her friends to oppose it, she promises to be his girl. The next day, while in the corner saloon, he sees a bill collector with quite an amount of money. He attempts to get this money and is about to succeed when he discovers that the collector is the father of the girl. He now fully realizes how despicable he is, and handing back the money, he goes with a promise to prove himself worthy of her. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Short | Drama







Release Date:

1 February 1912 (USA) 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 »

Did You Know?


A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

Alternate Versions

One version of this is shown the way the negative was developed (no editing betwwen the scenes). Another version has the editing restored. However, since the edited version was lost, the editing was done according to numbers that Griffith placed on the side of the film negative. These numbers are visible in the unedited version of the film. (both are of the same length and contain the same material, just in different order) Since the inner titles were also lost, the latest version of the film has beginnig titles added to give history to the film and introduce the editing problems/issues. See more »


Referenced in Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Good
20 June 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Transformation of Mike, The (1912)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely entertaining drama from Griffith about a gangster named Mike (Wilfred Lucas) who moves into a tenement building to start over. At a dance he meets a young lady (Blanche Sweet) and quickly falls for her but with no money to take her out he decides to do a robbery. Mike eventually breaks into the house of an old man with money but he doesn't realize that it's his girl's father. The film deals with a bad man seeing his wrong ways and changing and this here is a subject that Griffith went to many times. Once again Griffith's strong direction really does wonders as he's able to make a rather cute romantic comedy with the two people meeting yet he then switches gears flawlessly as we see Mike terrorizing the family, not knowing who they really are. Lucas is terrific in his role as should be expected since he also wrote the story. The always impressive Sweet does her typical great job and William J. Butler is fine as her father.

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