Kidnapped in New York (1914)

| Drama, Short
When some criminals kidnap a rich man's daughter and nurse. A wise detective goes under cover as a harmless old drunk into the Italian-immigrant ghetto where they're being held.

Director:

J. Stuart Blackton
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Cast

Cast overview:
Barney Gilmore ... Detective Dooley
Marie Osborne ... Toots, the Baby (as Baby Osborne)
Violet Stuart Violet Stuart ... The Nurse (as Violet Stewart)
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Storyline

When some criminals kidnap a rich man's daughter and nurse. A wise detective goes under cover as a harmless old drunk into the Italian-immigrant ghetto where they're being held.

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Genres:

Drama | Short

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Details

Country:

USA

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is based on a stage play, often billed as a "Comedy-Drama" of that name which was in one of star Barney Gilmore's old reliable repertoire of shows he had been performing since the 1890's. In fact, he was famous for it. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Feature-Making in New York in 1914
27 July 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Kidnappers grab Baby Marie Osborne and her nurse, violet Stuart and carry them off to their hide-out in the slums of lower Manhattan. It's up to master detective Barney Gilmore to find them in this movie directed by pioneer J. Stuart Blackton.

It's 1914 and most of the Patents Trust people aren't interested in features. They've got a good, profitable business model making short subjects and distributing them through their captive company, and if they can just keep the upstarts like Carl Laemmle bottled up in court, everything will be fine. Blackton however, is always interested in doing something new -- that's why he broke with Edison and struck out on his own. Aren't people going to see these new, long pictures coming out of Italy? I'll make one of my own.

Unfortunately, no one quite knew how to make a feature at this stage, Blackton knew it required more plot points, but his techniques were behind the time. He's very fond of three-shots of actors standing around, talking, with frequent titles to explain what's going on. He does take the camera out on the streets of Manhattan and there is one long tracking shot showing Gilmore walking along the street looking for clues, while the children clearly look at the camera as it passes by. There's also a great fire sequence to cap off the movie. Clearly this movie was well edited and makes sense, and most of the performers are fairly good -- although the actress playing Baby Marie's mother is clearly straining for the back row. Yet such was the pacing, writing and editing of movies in 1914, that a ten-minute prologue had to be added, a travelogue showing tourist spots of Manhattan to bring it up to an acceptable feature length for the year: 40 minutes.

Oh well. It was 1914. Mr. Blackton retired to the front office for three years before he tried directing again. Miss Osmond, after this, her first movie, had a dazzling five-year career until she grew too old at 9. After a while, she returned in bit parts, then a true second act in the costume department of the studios, where she worked for many years on many pictures, including THE GODFATHER 2. She lived to be 99. Good for her.


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