The Avenging Conscience; Thou Shalt Not Kill (1914)

Drama | 24 August 1914

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Murderer's Conscience . An MPN pre-production news item mentions Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Miriam Cooper and Jack Pickford in the cast, but their participation in the production, if any, is unknown. The film showed in Los Angeles in Jul 1914 and played at the Strand Theatre in New York early in Aug 1914. It was offered for state rights distribution by Western Import Co. late in 1914. Modern sources list G. W. Bitzer as cameraman, Karl Brown as assistant cameraman, and James Smith and Rose Richtel as film editors. The 1921 film Annabel Lee was also inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe poem (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Murderer's Conscience . An MPN pre-production news item mentions Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Miriam Cooper and Jack Pickford in the cast, but their participation in the production, if any, is unknown. The film showed in Los Angeles in Jul 1914 and played at the Strand Theatre in New York early in Aug 1914. It was offered for state rights distribution by Western Import Co. late in 1914. Modern sources list G. W. Bitzer as cameraman, Karl Brown as assistant cameraman, and James Smith and Rose Richtel as film editors. The 1921 film Annabel Lee was also inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe poem (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motog
22 Aug 14
p. 270.
Motog
14 Nov 14
p. 66.
Motog
2 Jan 15
p. 18.
MPN
8 Aug 14
p. 30.
MPN
22 Aug 14
p. 48.
MPW
15 Aug 14
p. 936.
MPW
22 Aug 14
p. 1150.
NYDM
12 Aug 14
p. 28.
Variety
7 Aug 14
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITER
MUSIC
Mus accompaniment composed by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Inspired by the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe in The Pioneer (Jan 1843) and his poem "Annabel Lee" in New York Tribune (New York, 9 Oct 1849).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Murderer's Conscience
Release Date:
24 August 1914
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
7-8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A scholarly bachelor, who has raised his nephew from infancy, instills his own literary ambitions into his ward. When the young man, an Edgar Allan Poe enthusiast, wants to marry, his jealous uncle protests, implying that the young woman is of questionable virtue. Stung, and reasoning that nature is omnivorous, the nephew kills his uncle and seals the body within a fireplace. His conscience bothers him, however. Someone who witnessed the crime blackmails him, a detective hounds him, and his uncle's ghost haunts him. In desperation, the nephew hangs himself, but is cut down by the detective before expiring. Meanwhile, his sweetheart has leaped to her death. Finally, the young man awakens to discover that he has been dreaming. He reconciles with his uncle and marries his sweetheart, after which the young couple is attended by Pan, forest animals and ... +


A scholarly bachelor, who has raised his nephew from infancy, instills his own literary ambitions into his ward. When the young man, an Edgar Allan Poe enthusiast, wants to marry, his jealous uncle protests, implying that the young woman is of questionable virtue. Stung, and reasoning that nature is omnivorous, the nephew kills his uncle and seals the body within a fireplace. His conscience bothers him, however. Someone who witnessed the crime blackmails him, a detective hounds him, and his uncle's ghost haunts him. In desperation, the nephew hangs himself, but is cut down by the detective before expiring. Meanwhile, his sweetheart has leaped to her death. Finally, the young man awakens to discover that he has been dreaming. He reconciles with his uncle and marries his sweetheart, after which the young couple is attended by Pan, forest animals and children. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.