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Alas and Alack (1915)

A fishwife tells her young daughter a fairy story about a princess imprisoned by a hunchback in a seashell, a story that parallels her own life.


Joseph De Grasse


Ida May Park


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Cast overview:
Cleo Madison ... The Fisherwife and Fishermaid
Arthur Shirley Arthur Shirley ... The Man of Wealth and the Prince
Mary Kearnen Mary Kearnen ... The Fisher Babe (as Mary Kiernan)
Lon Chaney ... The Fisherman and Hunchback Fate
Margaret Whistler Margaret Whistler ... The Wife of Wealth


A fishwife tells her young daughter the story of a princess who fell in love with a prince; but an evil fairy tears them apart and summons a hunchback to imprison her in a seashell where she moans for all eternity. The fairy story parallels the fishwife's own unhappy life with her ill-contented husband and the life of the wealthy yachtsman who is burdened with a querulous wife. Written by J. Spurlin

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Short | Drama | Romance







Release Date:

10 October 1915 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Worth it for Chaney fans
25 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Alas and Alack (1915)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Incomplete short has Cleo Madison telling her daughter a story about the noise in a seashell while her husband (Lon Chaney) is away fishing. The woman dreams of becoming rich one day and it seems her wishes are granted when a rich man pulls up on shore. The final six minutes of the film are missing so there's no way of knowing if she leaves with the man or stays with her husband. The most important thing about this early Universal short is that Chaney plays two roles including a hunchback in a dream sequence. The hunchback scenes have him in limited make up but it looks okay. The special effects are pretty good for the time and Madison makes for a good lead. Hopefully the final minutes will be found someday.

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