Her Terrible Ordeal (1910)

Drama | 10 January 1910

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HISTORY

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “A fit of temper directed at a peddler by the leading man results in his sweetheart’s being locked in a walk-in safe. The owner of the business, who must go on a trip, leaves his son in charge of the office. The owner’s son is in love with his father’s secretary. The peddler returns, finds the secretary alone, remembers the earlier harsh treatment given him, and locks her in the safe. The remainder of the film is made up of many scenes, indoors and out, as the frantic young man attempts to find his father who has the combination of the safe. Finally, the father is located. He opens the safe none too soon, and the young woman is embraced by the son.”
       The 22 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “A love story, the interest in which is heightened by the fact that the girl is locked in a safe; an absent-minded business man who leaves important papers behind and must, perforce, return to his office to get them, and a general mixup which keeps up the interest throughout the film. The girl is finally rescued and the picture ends happily, with the young people united and probably all pleased, rather than otherwise, that the aforesaid business man was absent-minded. Maybe the central thought of this picture may be taken to be the inference that sometimes those things which seem all wrong in reality are blessings in disguise. Or, to make the application of this idea specific, if the business man in the picture had not been absent-minded the girl would have died ... More Less

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “A fit of temper directed at a peddler by the leading man results in his sweetheart’s being locked in a walk-in safe. The owner of the business, who must go on a trip, leaves his son in charge of the office. The owner’s son is in love with his father’s secretary. The peddler returns, finds the secretary alone, remembers the earlier harsh treatment given him, and locks her in the safe. The remainder of the film is made up of many scenes, indoors and out, as the frantic young man attempts to find his father who has the combination of the safe. Finally, the father is located. He opens the safe none too soon, and the young woman is embraced by the son.”
       The 22 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “A love story, the interest in which is heightened by the fact that the girl is locked in a safe; an absent-minded business man who leaves important papers behind and must, perforce, return to his office to get them, and a general mixup which keeps up the interest throughout the film. The girl is finally rescued and the picture ends happily, with the young people united and probably all pleased, rather than otherwise, that the aforesaid business man was absent-minded. Maybe the central thought of this picture may be taken to be the inference that sometimes those things which seem all wrong in reality are blessings in disguise. Or, to make the application of this idea specific, if the business man in the picture had not been absent-minded the girl would have died in the safe. Not all in an audience will reason out or appreciate these subtleties, but when they do interest in the picture is increased proportionately.”
       Interiors were filmed at the Biograph studio at 11 East 14th Street in New York City.
       An advertisement in the 15 Jan 1910 Moving Picture World headlined this film as: “Where Absent-Mindedness Proves a Blessing.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
BIOB2
p. 158.
BPL
pp. 122-123.
EMP
p. 135.
LCMP
p. 25, column 2.
LCPP
p. 190.
Moving Picture World
15 Jan 1910
pp. 62, 63.
Moving Picture World
22 Jan 1910
p. 91r.
The Daily Worker
p. 70.
Variety
15 Jan 1910
tr.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 January 1910
Copyright Claimant:
Biograph Co.
Copyright Date:
13 January 1910
Copyright Number:
J137169
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
952
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“That everything happens for the best has been so often verified that it behooves us to take this moral to ourselves whenever things seemingly go wrong. We may feel disappointed and perturbed at the instant, but afterwards, when we reason it out, we find it a blessing in disguise. This is an important factor in this Biograph subject. Mr. Curtis, the real estate broker, was in the extreme very absentminded, and his forgetfulness often caused him embarrassment. He is about to set out on a journey of business, and his son Jack visits his office, ostensibly to help him pack his luggage, but in reality to see the girl he loves, his father’s pretty stenographer, Alice, who secretly loves him in return. Curtis is all of a flurry trying to give his typist instructions and at the same time gathering his effects for the trip. In taking from his pocket some papers, he drops on the floor his wallet, where it remains unseen until after his departure. The father gone, Jack declares himself to the girl, who teasingly holds him off. During this scene, they discover the pocketbook, and Jack hastens after his father to restore it. While he is away a peddler enters the office and finding the girl alone, snatches up her purse and forces her into the large safe vault, where she is captive, the combination having turned. Jack enters and imagining Alice has just stepped out, sits to wait, when he hears a knocking on the safe door, indistinct at first, then becoming louder, as Alice has picked up a pistol from the shelf and beats with its butt end on the heavy door. He ... +


“That everything happens for the best has been so often verified that it behooves us to take this moral to ourselves whenever things seemingly go wrong. We may feel disappointed and perturbed at the instant, but afterwards, when we reason it out, we find it a blessing in disguise. This is an important factor in this Biograph subject. Mr. Curtis, the real estate broker, was in the extreme very absentminded, and his forgetfulness often caused him embarrassment. He is about to set out on a journey of business, and his son Jack visits his office, ostensibly to help him pack his luggage, but in reality to see the girl he loves, his father’s pretty stenographer, Alice, who secretly loves him in return. Curtis is all of a flurry trying to give his typist instructions and at the same time gathering his effects for the trip. In taking from his pocket some papers, he drops on the floor his wallet, where it remains unseen until after his departure. The father gone, Jack declares himself to the girl, who teasingly holds him off. During this scene, they discover the pocketbook, and Jack hastens after his father to restore it. While he is away a peddler enters the office and finding the girl alone, snatches up her purse and forces her into the large safe vault, where she is captive, the combination having turned. Jack enters and imagining Alice has just stepped out, sits to wait, when he hears a knocking on the safe door, indistinct at first, then becoming louder, as Alice has picked up a pistol from the shelf and beats with its butt end on the heavy door. He answers with rappings, but the walls are too thick to hear her voice. He is helpless, as he does not know the combination. He is filled with terror, for he realizes Alice must be slowly but surely suffocating. Through the desk he rummages in hopes of finding the combination, but without success. Meanwhile, his father has arrived at the railroad station only to find that his forgetfulness has caused him to leave most important papers behind. At this moment a friend appears and as he cannot hope to get the papers and return in time for the oncoming train, he accompanies his friend to a café for a drink on the way back. The train has arrived and pulled out again when Jack rushes frantically into the station. The train gone, he has a telegram sent to the conductor to find Mr. Curtis and have him return, matter of life and death. The answer comes, ‘No Curtis on train.’ Of course not, for Mr. Curtis has returned to the office, procured the papers and is off again to catch the next train. During this time poor Alice has become exhausted and has fallen to the floor of the vault. Jack rushes back to be told by the office boy of his father having been there and just gone again. Jack and the boy rush out to overtake him which they do. The three rush back and release the poor girl none too soon.”—15 Jan 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.