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  • Augustus Phillips is denounced as a spy and shot while trying to escape. His lover, Gertrude McCoy, believes him dead, but refuses the caresses of his romantic rival. Instead she decides to jump into a lake.

    This early directorial effort by Charles Brabin has a story that is typically simple for Edison. Nor is he much good at directing his actors. They all seem to overplay. However, his visuals are superb in their naturalism and their stark, high-contrast lighting. This would evolve in short order into Lasky Lighting, the visual style of Paramount Pictures until the early 1920s. Although Edison did not credit its cameramen -- or much of anyone at this point -- it's worth a look for those beautifully lit scenes.

    It's also worth looking at if you enjoy playing "Spot the Company Logo" on these films issued before the copyright laws were changed to copyright films. Before that, the producers had to stick their trademark on almost every scene to get some protection against theft. Take a look at this film at the Eye Institute site on Youtube if you wish.