Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Usurer's Grip - 1912

Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Bannister Merwin
Writers: Bannister Merwin (scenario), Theodora Huntington (story)
Stars: Walter Edwin, Gertrude McCoy and Edna May Weick
Release Date: 5 October 1912 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Company
Runtime: 15 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Drama | Short
THE USURER'S GRIP is, not surprisingly, a film decrying the evil of usurers--people who charge ridiculously high (and illegal) interest rates for loans. A family is in need of some extra money. They see an ad promising low-interest loans and easy payment plans. However, after taking out this loan, the family finds they've been conned and are unable to make their payments. A female employee of the usurer shows up at the poor man's job to bawl him out and ruins his reputation in front of his boss. The result of this is that the employee is fired--and falls even further behind on the loan! Then a "trailer" is then hired to follow the man to his next job and the lady comes once again to bawl him out and hound him--making it impossible to pay the loan when he could get fired again. However, the new boss is a swell fella and helps the man get a low-interest loan to pay off the original loan. In the meantime, however, the loan shark arrives at the same time at the man's house and the wife watches as they cart away his furniture--even the bed where his sick child is sleeping! What are they to do?! Well, see it for yourself to find out if the family can be saved.

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