Reaching for the Moon 1917

reaching for the moon

A factory worker has always dreamed that he was meant for better things, to be rich and famous and in “the company of kings”. One day he discovers that he is indeed the only heir to the throne of a small European kingdom. However, there are forces at work who don’t want him to survive to take the throne.


Director: John Emerson

Production Co: Douglas Fairbanks Pictures
Writers: John Emerson, Joseph Henabery (story)
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Eileen Percy, Richard Cummings


Pluck and Plotters 1918

pluck and plotters

An early and amusing Semon from the days before his budgets and ego ballooned out of control. He is the utterly inept janitor in an office building, where an inventor is busy cutting a deal for a new sort of — well, it looks like it might be a racing car, but it might be a zeppelin. But when Larry is not wielding a broom and forcing everyone into either ducking or taking a pratfall, or dunking an ice cube into the water cooler like an over-sized tea bag, he is fouling up industrial espionage. There is is a lovely thrill comedy bit with Madge Kirby at risk.

As with Semon’s other comedies of this period, he is the star but not the whole show, and that produces more varied and greater belly laughs. In this period his camera work was more interesting than his competitors, his gags as funny or funnier and although his story construction was no thing of beauty, it served as a fine framework for the gags…by boblipton (New York City)

Director: Larry Semon (as Lawrence Semon)

Production Co: Vitagraph Company of America
Writer: Larry Semon (scenario) (as Lawrence Semon)
Stars: Larry Semon, Madge Kirby, Frank Alexander

Slippery Jim 1910

IMDb 7/10

A phlegmatic pickpocket is arrested and taken to his cell. As he is an unusually wily customer, he is bound by fetters and chained to the wall. Speedily putting these off, he is locked up by the enraged warders in a chest, but escapes and is finally thrown into the river tied up in a sack. Coming up from the water again, perfectly dry and safe, he makes a bicycle for himself and rides off furiously, springing ultimately onto a passing train which bars his passage. In this way he is carried along on his bicycle for some distance, but reaching the river again, he descends on his machine, performs a few revolutions in mid-air, the reflection of the bicycle showing up clearly on the face of the water, and then lands in a sumptuous room. The police follow, but are baffled by the continued disappearing tricks of the clever thief, who dissolves from view and reappears in the most unexpected places. At last he is captured in the police station itself and carried once more to his cell, but crashes through the iron bars with little trouble, leaving his warders safely under lock and key.

—Moving Picture World synopsis


Director: Ferdinand Zecca

The Usurer’s Grip 1912

The Usurer's grip

A young clerk, a small salary, a wife and child, the child long ill then the doctor’s bill and other bills and debts accumulate; the advertisement in the news about borrowing money on your furniture at six per cent. Ah. That’s the solution. I’ll try it. Yes, he tried it and as the picture unfolds itself we see the clerk careworn and desperate borrowing twenty-five dollars from a loan shark, who compels him to return five of it for drawing up papers. At this the clerk remonstrates and shows the loan shark his own advertisement at six per cent. The shark snarls and snatches back the money, but the child is ill, what can he do but submit and take what he gets and sign that fatal card, which reads that he must pay forty-five dollars for tho loan of twenty-five. He signs it; he has to. Now comes with sickening regularity the dreaded monthly payments. He cannot always meet them, what then? Slowly they go, his watch, her brooch and last, the baby’s ring. And next comes the “bawlerout.” The clerk at his desk in a large office is told that a woman wishes to see him. She demands a payment, he can’t comply, she raises her voice, threatens, heaps imprecations on him, she will not be silenced. The clerk is humiliated before the whole office and the manager discharges him. He plods home and breaks the news to his wife, who comforts him and bids him try again. The clerk succeeds in getting n new position and a kindly, sympathetic employer in whom he confides, when the “bawlerout” next appears. His employer takes him to a loan association, where anyone who is employed and in distress may borrow money at the legal rate of interest. Again, through his employer, the clerk meets the district attorney and tells him of the loan shark who is squeezing money from him, although he has already more than paid the debt. The district attorney investigates and intervenes just in time to prevent the ruffian from taking the very bed from under the clerk’s sick child. He also compels him to give back all the usury interest he has received above six per cent.

—Moving Picture World synopsis

Director: Charles Brabin (as Charles J. Brabin)

Production Co: Edison Company
Writers: Theodora Huntington (story), Bannister Merwin (scenario)
Stars: Walter Edwin, Gertrude McCoy, Edna May Weick

La Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elizabeth) 1912

queen Elisabeth

French silent film based on the love affair between Elizabeth I of England and the Earl of Essex.

The intertitles are in English


Directors: Louis Mercanton, Henri Desfontaines
Music composed by: Joseph Carl Breil
Screenplay: Émile Moreau
Story by: Émile Moreau

Stars: Sarah Bernhardt, Lou Tellegen, Max Maxudian

The Heart O’ the Hills 1919

Heart o'_the_Hills_(1919)_-_8

Family tensions in the Kentucky hills are inflamed by an outsider’s dishonest scheme to exploit the area for its coal.

Directors: Sidney Franklin, Joseph De Grasse
Screenplay: Bernard McConville
Story by: John Fox Jr.
Producer: Mary Pickford

Stars: Mary Pickford, Harold Goodwin, Allan Sears

Trial Marriages 1907



A man attempts a series of ‘trial marriages’ with various women, and eventually gives up on marriage altogether.

Directed by unknown
Cinematography by Billy Bitzer
Starring unknown
Distributed by Biograph Company
Release date January 17, 1907
Country United States
Running time 12 m.