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6.4 (31)
  • Country:
  • Genres: ,
  • Release: 1915-07-12
  • Director: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Writers: Charles Kenyon
  • Language: None | English
  • Stars: Charlotte Walker , Thomas Meighan , Raymond Hatton , Mrs. Lewis McCord
  • Runtime: 50 min
  • Awards: N/A
  • AKA: Kindling (United States of America)
  • Plot: A row of very unsanitary tenements in the New York slums are owned by Mrs. Burke-Smith, an utterly selfish woman who belongs to clubs for moral uplift, but will not practice any practical charity. Her daughter, Alice, on the contrary, is genuinely interested in settlement work and devotes most of her time to it. She is assisted by a poor but promising young physician, Dr. Taylor, who is in love with her and whom she loves. Through their efforts to help a consumptive child, Alice and Dr. Taylor become acquainted with Maggie Schultz and her husband, Heine. Though they live in one of the Burke-Smith tenements they keep their two rooms clean. The wife is sweet and the husband, hard-working and honest. Maggie, who expects a child in the near future, is afraid to confess this fact to Heine, because he holds the theory that it is wrong to bring little ones into the world under the conditions to which they are subject. Over Maggie lives an Irish woman by the name of Bates, who, when her husband was alive, lived in the open, wind-swept spaces of the West and has never forgotten it. She has a good-for-nothing son, Steve, who is a second story man, and who is under the eye of a detective by the name of Rafferty. From Bates, Maggie learns that for the sum of only $100 she could go West with her husband and establish a homestead on the government plan. Alice induces her mother to visit the tenements from which she gets her rent and Mrs. Burke-Smith offers Maggie five dollars a week to work in her house. This five dollars is very much needed, because Heine is out of work through a strike, and Maggie finally accepts the position. She does not definitely decide this, however, until Steve, the second-story man, has offered her the money to go West if she will help him rob the Burke-Smith house. He tries to excuse his plan to Maggie on the ground that Mrs. Burke-Smith is the owner of their wretched tenement, and Maggie, who is frantic because of the secret she dares not reveal, feels that to get the money in this way would only be doing justice to herself and her unborn child. True to her arrangement with Steve, Maggie helps him rob the Burke-Smith house, and receives as her reward a diamond brooch belonging to Alice, which she pawns for $113. Rafferty, the detective, is quickly suspicious and soon forces Maggie into such a position that she confesses to her husband, Heine. When Heine learns what his wife has done, and why she did it, he gives evidence of the finest manhood by standing by her and trying to accept absolutely all the responsibility and blame. Alice, whose kindness for Maggie is unremitting, foils the detective by insisting that she has lent the money to Maggie, and at the same time, getting back her brooch from the place where Maggie has pawned it. There is a final big scene in which Maggie denounces the conditions under which she dwells, and Mrs. Burke-Smith is ultimately touched so that she begins to appreciate how wicked she has been. The play comes to a happy conclusion, with Maggie and Heine planning to begin their western trip at once.
  • IMDB:tt0005589
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