As It Is in Life (1910)

Drama | 4 April 1910

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HISTORY

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “This film is built around the actions of an unhappy widower (George Nicholls) who feels that his daughter should not marry and leave him alone after he had sacrificed love to bring up his motherless daughter. The film begins as he bids farewell to an old girl friend (Marion Leonard), and returns to his pigeon farm and his child (Gladys Egan). The child grows up (played now by Mary Pickford), comes home from school, almost at once falls in love, and wants to leave her father. In spite of her father’s objection, she marries her suitor (Charles West), has a child and wins back her father by putting the infant in his lap. The last scene shows their reunion and the man’s pride in his new grandchild. Most of the film was photographed on a pigeon farm in the arroyo of the Los Angeles River.”
       D. W. Griffith filmed As It Is in Life and A Rich Revenge (1910, see entry) at the same pigeon farm in Edendale, CA.
       The 16 Apr 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “Whether this picture is true to life or not is a question which must be decided by each individual for himself, but it is not too much to say that it contains much human nature. Personal jealousies often play a larger part in the lives of individuals than is realized, and this picture is based upon this potent fact. But there is some degree of happiness injected into the old man’s life when the grandchild is taken to him and he agrees with ... More Less

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “This film is built around the actions of an unhappy widower (George Nicholls) who feels that his daughter should not marry and leave him alone after he had sacrificed love to bring up his motherless daughter. The film begins as he bids farewell to an old girl friend (Marion Leonard), and returns to his pigeon farm and his child (Gladys Egan). The child grows up (played now by Mary Pickford), comes home from school, almost at once falls in love, and wants to leave her father. In spite of her father’s objection, she marries her suitor (Charles West), has a child and wins back her father by putting the infant in his lap. The last scene shows their reunion and the man’s pride in his new grandchild. Most of the film was photographed on a pigeon farm in the arroyo of the Los Angeles River.”
       D. W. Griffith filmed As It Is in Life and A Rich Revenge (1910, see entry) at the same pigeon farm in Edendale, CA.
       The 16 Apr 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “Whether this picture is true to life or not is a question which must be decided by each individual for himself, but it is not too much to say that it contains much human nature. Personal jealousies often play a larger part in the lives of individuals than is realized, and this picture is based upon this potent fact. But there is some degree of happiness injected into the old man’s life when the grandchild is taken to him and he agrees with the mother that it is quite the most beautiful baby ever seen. But the principal point of interest will center around the representation of personal jealousies which develop as the story is told. Acting and photography are both adequate and the picture will undoubtedly create more than ordinary interest.”
       An article in the 29 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World, titled “Biograph Company Migrates to the Land of Sunshine and Flowers,” noted that the Biograph Company, with Lawrence Griffith (one of D. W. Griffith’s pseudonyms) as director-in-chief, had arrived in Los Angeles, CA, on 19 Jan 1910, joining two other migrating film operations, the Selig Company and the New York Motion Picture Company (Bison).
       An advertisement in the 9 Apr 1910 Moving Picture World billed this film as “The Story of a Father’s Selfish Love.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
BIOB2
p. 183.
BPL
pp. 124-125.
EMP
p. 14.
LCMP
p. 3, column 3.
LCPP
p. 167.
Moving Picture News
9 Apr 1910
p. 15tl.
Moving Picture World
29 Jan 1910
p. 120.
Moving Picture World
9 Apr 1910
p. 566ta, 567ts, 573tl, 574tl.
Moving Picture World
16 Apr 1910
p. 597tr.
The Daily Worker
p. 77.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 April 1910
Copyright Claimant:
Biograph Co.
Copyright Date:
6 April 1910
Copyright Number:
J140186
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
981
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“Shakespeare wrote that ‘Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man,’ which may be true in many instances, but the philosophical will contend that life is what we make it. It is in our power to generate sunshine sufficient to dissipate the threatening clouds of sorrow. Man, by nature, is prone to be unreasonable, selfish and thoughtless; though these traits be hidden even to our own discerning, still they are there and it is for us to curb them. Love, the most commendable virtue, is itself unreasonable, as this Biograph subject will illustrate, and how parental love may be so extreme as to be selfish. George Forrester has suffered the loss of his beloved wife, the mother of his little ten-year-old child. The child is forced to become his little housekeeper, while Forrester secures work at the pigeon farm. While thus employed, he meets a former sweetheart and renews his attentions, feeling that she might prove a second mother to his child; but no, on serious consideration he realizes that he could not meet the wants of a second wife, as he finds that her tastes are extravagant, and do his duty to his child, hence he determines to sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of his child, sending her off to school that she may rise above her present environment, while he toils to make ends meet. Several years later we find the girl returning from school, having grown to young womanhood. She is surprised and grieved to see such a change in her father. As she views his almost decrepit form, she exclaims: ‘Worn hands, gray hairs, and ... +


“Shakespeare wrote that ‘Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man,’ which may be true in many instances, but the philosophical will contend that life is what we make it. It is in our power to generate sunshine sufficient to dissipate the threatening clouds of sorrow. Man, by nature, is prone to be unreasonable, selfish and thoughtless; though these traits be hidden even to our own discerning, still they are there and it is for us to curb them. Love, the most commendable virtue, is itself unreasonable, as this Biograph subject will illustrate, and how parental love may be so extreme as to be selfish. George Forrester has suffered the loss of his beloved wife, the mother of his little ten-year-old child. The child is forced to become his little housekeeper, while Forrester secures work at the pigeon farm. While thus employed, he meets a former sweetheart and renews his attentions, feeling that she might prove a second mother to his child; but no, on serious consideration he realizes that he could not meet the wants of a second wife, as he finds that her tastes are extravagant, and do his duty to his child, hence he determines to sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of his child, sending her off to school that she may rise above her present environment, while he toils to make ends meet. Several years later we find the girl returning from school, having grown to young womanhood. She is surprised and grieved to see such a change in her father. As she views his almost decrepit form, she exclaims: ‘Worn hands, gray hairs, and all for me. Father, I shall never leave you.’ Ah, but what a rash resolution. Little do we know what fate is designing. She, of course, meets ‘the’ young man. They love each other honestly and devotedly, but the father is unreasonably jealous, and tries to keep them apart, but this is impossible, so in a fit of rage he bids the girl to choose between him and her lover. She chooses the lover, feeling that her dear father would relent. He does not, however, and refuses to either sanction her marriage or visit the couple afterwards, living his life alone in his little cottage. About two years later, the young wife is so wrapped up in her baby that she considers it a slight on the part of anyone who passes it by without enthusiastic notice. Of course, they all tell her her baby is very cute and pretty, but they rebel at being obliged to think of nothing else. She feels that nobody appreciates her baby, so she decides to brave her fears and pay a visit to her father, hoping that the baby may soften his iron will. Cautiously entering the garden, she finds her father the picture of despair, seated on a bench in the arbor. Approaching him noiselessly, she places her baby on its grandpop's knees. It was as the young wife hoped, and we leave the scene with the child and the grandchild folded in the old man’s arms.”—9 Apr 1910 Moving Picture World +

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.