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HISTORY

Advertisements for the film said that it was based on the Rockefeller White Slavery Report and on the investigation of the Vice Trust by District Attorney Whitman. In a news item in 17 Dec 1913 NYDM , John D. Rockefeller, Jr. denied that any films about white-slave traffic had his sanction or were in any way approved by the Bureau of Social Hygiene, through which he conducted his investigations of white-slave traffic. Furthermore, he stated that "the use of my name in any such connection is absolutely unauthorized, and that I and those associated with me in this work regard this method of exploiting vice as not only injudicious but positively harmful." Var commented, "there's a laugh on the Rockefeller investigators in the play in the personality of one of the white slavers, a physical counterpart of John D., himself so striking as to make the observer sit up and wonder whether the granger of Pocantico Hills really came down to pose for the Universal."
       According to modern sources, the film was cast by Imp editor Jack Cohn and was made without the knowledge of Imp officials. Director Tucker quit Imp and went to the London Film Company in England after Traffic in Souls was shot. Jack Cohn cut it from ten to six reels. The popularity of the film (modern sources claim that it cost $5,700 to make and that it grossed approximately $450,000) touched off a wave of white-slave pictures.
       The National Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures viewed the film on 27 Oct 1913 and passed it with five minor alterations.
       The Academy of Motion Picture ... More Less

Advertisements for the film said that it was based on the Rockefeller White Slavery Report and on the investigation of the Vice Trust by District Attorney Whitman. In a news item in 17 Dec 1913 NYDM , John D. Rockefeller, Jr. denied that any films about white-slave traffic had his sanction or were in any way approved by the Bureau of Social Hygiene, through which he conducted his investigations of white-slave traffic. Furthermore, he stated that "the use of my name in any such connection is absolutely unauthorized, and that I and those associated with me in this work regard this method of exploiting vice as not only injudicious but positively harmful." Var commented, "there's a laugh on the Rockefeller investigators in the play in the personality of one of the white slavers, a physical counterpart of John D., himself so striking as to make the observer sit up and wonder whether the granger of Pocantico Hills really came down to pose for the Universal."
       According to modern sources, the film was cast by Imp editor Jack Cohn and was made without the knowledge of Imp officials. Director Tucker quit Imp and went to the London Film Company in England after Traffic in Souls was shot. Jack Cohn cut it from ten to six reels. The popularity of the film (modern sources claim that it cost $5,700 to make and that it grossed approximately $450,000) touched off a wave of white-slave pictures.
       The National Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures viewed the film on 27 Oct 1913 and passed it with five minor alterations.
       The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screened highlights from Traffic in Souls during a program called "A Century Ago: The Films of 1913," at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, CA, on 6 Dec 2013, according to that day's LAT. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Los Angeles Times
6 Dec 2013
p. D16.
Motion Picture News
22 Nov 1913
p. 34.
Motog
15 Nov 1913
p. 339.
Motog
29 Nov 1913
pp. 397-98.
Moving Picture World
22 Nov 1913
p. 849.
NYDM
19 Nov 1913
p. 33.
NYDM
17 Dec 1913
p. 30.
Variety
28 Nov 1913
p. 12.
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1913
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Film Mfg. Co.
Copyright Date:
2 December 1913
Copyright Number:
LU1767
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
6-7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Mary and Lorna, the lovely daughters of Isaac Barton, an elderly inventor, work in a fashionable confectionary. Nice mannered procurer Bill Bradshaw lures Lorna to drink with him, after which he imprisons her in an abandoned house. When news of Lorna's supposed fall from grace reaches the shop, Mary's reputation is also tainted. She loses her job and is hired by Mr. Trubus, a renowned philanthropist who secretly leads a prosperous gang of white slavers, who prey on newly arrived immigrant girls. After Mary discovers that Bradshaw is working for Trubus, she and her sweetheart, police officer Larry Burke, who earlier rescued several girls from the same ring, gather evidence against Trubus using an invention of Barton that records his dealing onto a cylinder. After a rooftop chase, Bradshaw is shot and falls to his death, while Mary rescues Lorna. The ensuing scandal brings on the death of Trubus' wife and the insanity of his ... +


Mary and Lorna, the lovely daughters of Isaac Barton, an elderly inventor, work in a fashionable confectionary. Nice mannered procurer Bill Bradshaw lures Lorna to drink with him, after which he imprisons her in an abandoned house. When news of Lorna's supposed fall from grace reaches the shop, Mary's reputation is also tainted. She loses her job and is hired by Mr. Trubus, a renowned philanthropist who secretly leads a prosperous gang of white slavers, who prey on newly arrived immigrant girls. After Mary discovers that Bradshaw is working for Trubus, she and her sweetheart, police officer Larry Burke, who earlier rescued several girls from the same ring, gather evidence against Trubus using an invention of Barton that records his dealing onto a cylinder. After a rooftop chase, Bradshaw is shot and falls to his death, while Mary rescues Lorna. The ensuing scandal brings on the death of Trubus' wife and the insanity of his daughter. +

Legend
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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.