Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Decoy - 1914

The Decoy: One reel of 1,018 feet, released July 3, 1914, a Princess film.
Complex story of romance and crime, with Murial Ostriche and Morgan Jones.
Scenario by Philip Lonergan.
Print Source: British Film Institute National Film and Television Archive, 16 minutes, 2 seconds.
Cast: Charles Horan (John Henderson/Mr. Vincent). Marie Rainford (his wife), Virginia Waite (Jane Phelps, their distant relative, a widow), Muriel Ostriche (her daughter Muriel, who becomes a decoy), Morgan Jones (a millionaire), Boyd Marshall (Boyd, a businessman, Muriel's lover), John Reinhard.
Original music composed and performed by Andrew Crow (​people/​crowa.htm.)
A rather complex interweaving of romance and crime is squeezed into one reel. A "respectable" couple of city "card sharpers" invite a distant country relative to visit, then use her as a pretty, unwitting decoy to lure rich victims. They flee town a step ahead of the law. At a resort, the innocent girl falls in love with the latest victim, but they help expose and apprehend the guilty parties.
The attractive story is worthy of two-reel-length development, which would probably have been the case under Edwin Thanhouser's management. On the other hand, fast-paced storytelling was a popular new trend in films, thanks to the influence of D. W. Griffith at Biograph

For futher information on films by Thanhouser, visit the site above. Let’s keep memories of this great studio alive.

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