The Miser's Heart (1911)

Not Rated   |    |  Short, Crime, Drama


The Miser's Heart (1911) Poster

Thieves decide to steal the money an old miser has hidden away. He refuses to open the safe for them, so they threaten to kill a girl who lives in his building.

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6.4/10
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User Reviews


23 January 2006 | Snow Leopard
Quite An Interesting Drama
This is a somewhat uneven but very interesting D.W. Griffith drama, with many of the kinds of touches that came to characterize his work. He gets good performances from his cast, tells the story with his usual technical skill, and uses it to bring out some worthwhile insights on human nature. Only the rather contrived nature of the plot detracts from the overall quality. One of Lionel Barrymore's earliest roles also makes it well worth watching.

The story focuses on a young child - for whom Griffith takes care to build up sympathy before the main action starts - and her friendships with an old miser and with a homeless petty thief. When she is put in peril by a pair of dangerous criminals, both of her friends have tough decisions to make: the miser must choose between her safety and his money, while the thief would have to risk dealing with the police to save her.

Although some of the elements in the setup had to be forced slightly in order to bring about the key situation, this is certainly excusable in view of the interesting themes and ideas that it brings out. These are the kinds of contrasts and moral dilemmas that sometimes brought out the best in Griffith. It works well, and because the key ideas are so significant, it still holds up rather well, too.

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Genres

Short | Crime | Drama | Thriller

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