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An Unseen Enemy (1912)

Not Rated | | Crime, Short, Thriller | 9 September 1912 (USA)
The physician's death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor's small estate to cash. But it is late in the day, and with the banks ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... The Sister (older)
... The Sister (younger)
... The Brother
... The Boy
... The Thief
Grace Henderson ... The Slattern Maid
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Storyline

The physician's death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor's small estate to cash. But it is late in the day, and with the banks closed he stores the money in his father's household safe. The slatternly housekeeper, aware of the money, enlists a criminal acquaintance to crack the safe. She attempts to get into the adjacent room where the sisters tremble in fear, but finds that the door is locked. The drunken housekeeper menaces them by brandishing a gun through a hole in the wall. But the resourceful girls use the telephone to call their brother who has returned to town. He gets the message and organizes a rescue party. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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Genres:

Crime | Short | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

9 September 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Egy láthatatlan ellenség  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though not a direct adaptation, the premise of the story was strongly influenced by the play Au Téléphone (At the Telephone) by André de Lorde, first published in 1902 and a staple of the Theatre du Grand Guignol in Paris. A previous effort by D.W. Griffith, The Lonely Villa (1909), was a more direct adaptation of the play. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Effective Melodrama That Pulls You In
18 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

This short feature has a very melodramatic story, but it builds up some good suspense and also gets hold of your emotions as you watch. Griffith was quick to develop effective techniques for first making his characters sympathetic, and then placing them in situations in which viewer concern for the characters adds to the tension.

The setup introduces us to two young girls who are presented very sympathetically, and when they are then menaced by "An Unseen Enemy", it is very effective despite some holes in the plot. The situation that arises is creative, if somewhat offbeat, and the suspense is heightened by the use of cross-cutting when the tension reaches its peak.

Of course, it does not hurt at all that the two girls are played by Lillian and Dorothy Gish, who add considerably to their characters' appeal. Despite some flaws, this movie really pulls you in, out of concern for the characters and outrage at their enemies.


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