The Impalement (1910)

Melodrama | 30 May 1910

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HISTORY

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “A socially prominent man and his wife attend a party where they meet a frivolous female dancer. The husband is intrigued and sets out to make a conquest of her. His wife becomes jealous and threatens to take poison. The husband contemptuously pours the poison in a glass, hands it to his wife, and goes to a dinner given in his honor by the dancer. After he leaves, the wife falls to the floor in a faint. During the party, the husband becomes remorseful. He leaves the party and rushes home, and finds his wife on the floor. He thinks she is dead and returns to the party, where he suffers a heart attack and dies, presumably because of his bad conscience.”
       The 11 Jun 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “A remarkably dramatic film, ending so sensationally that it almost brings one to his feet. It displays to what extent the infatuation of a man for a woman not his wife can lead him. In this instance, supposing he had caused the death of his wife, the man himself dies, but so sensationally that the end must make a strong impression upon all who see it. The fact that a man may be infatuated with a woman not his wife is confirmed by too many unpleasant experiences of that character, but the punishment doesn't always come so swiftly and certainly. Neither does the unfortunate wife always awake to a realization of her fickle husband’s worthlessness in time to save herself from endless sorrow, or some desperate act which either destroys her life, or in ... More Less

The U.S. Library of Congress catalog gives the following description: “A socially prominent man and his wife attend a party where they meet a frivolous female dancer. The husband is intrigued and sets out to make a conquest of her. His wife becomes jealous and threatens to take poison. The husband contemptuously pours the poison in a glass, hands it to his wife, and goes to a dinner given in his honor by the dancer. After he leaves, the wife falls to the floor in a faint. During the party, the husband becomes remorseful. He leaves the party and rushes home, and finds his wife on the floor. He thinks she is dead and returns to the party, where he suffers a heart attack and dies, presumably because of his bad conscience.”
       The 11 Jun 1910 Moving Picture World ran the following review: “A remarkably dramatic film, ending so sensationally that it almost brings one to his feet. It displays to what extent the infatuation of a man for a woman not his wife can lead him. In this instance, supposing he had caused the death of his wife, the man himself dies, but so sensationally that the end must make a strong impression upon all who see it. The fact that a man may be infatuated with a woman not his wife is confirmed by too many unpleasant experiences of that character, but the punishment doesn't always come so swiftly and certainly. Neither does the unfortunate wife always awake to a realization of her fickle husband’s worthlessness in time to save herself from endless sorrow, or some desperate act which either destroys her life, or in some other way mars her future. The lesson taught so dramatically here is salutary and will unquestionably make a difference in some lives.”
       Interiors were filmed at the Biograph studio at 11 East 14th Street in New York City.
       An advertisement in the 4 Jun 1910 Moving Picture World headlined this film with: “A Victim of His Own Indifference.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
BIOB2
p. 199.
BPL
pp. 126-127.
EMP
p. 154.
LCMP
p. 28, column 2.
LCPP
p. 194.
Moving Picture News
4 Jun 1910
p. 22tl.
Moving Picture World
4 Jun 1910
p. 950tl, 951ts, 952ta, 956tl.
Moving Picture World
11 Jun 1910
pp. 995-997tr.
The Daily Worker
p. 81.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 May 1910
Copyright Claimant:
Biograph Co.
Copyright Date:
31 May 1910
Copyright Number:
J141757
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
987
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“Man’s perfidy is nearly always resilient, and he is made to suffer most, though he may bring grief to others. In this Biograph story, he is the absolute victim of his own indifference and perfidy to an extreme degree. Walter Avery is blessed with a most dutiful and loving wife, whose every endeavor and thought is to make him happy, but he being a man of the world, finds domestic life dull, and his wife’s attentions boring. Hence, it is with eagerness that he accepts invitations to the different social functions. Accompanied by his wife, he attends a social gathering and there meets a young dancing girl, society’s favorite entertainer. He is immediately obsessed with an infatuation for the girl, and it is evident that his feelings are reciprocated. Mrs. Avery’s suspicions are aroused and she accuses him of undue attentions toward the dancer. He, of course, denies her accusations and cajoles her into believing that his thoughts are always only for her. Nevertheless, the time comes when she sees positive proof of his perfidy in a letter to him from the girl inviting him to attend a dinner at her house given in his honor, hoping he will not fail to grace the occasion. When he is about to leave for the dancer’s home, Mrs. Avery picks up a bottle of poison, threatening to take her life if he goes. Regarding this threat merely a jealous woman’s trick to keep him home, he not only treats it with derision, but pours the contents of the bottle into a goblet, remarking that it would be more convenient to take it that way, and off he goes. When he is ... +


“Man’s perfidy is nearly always resilient, and he is made to suffer most, though he may bring grief to others. In this Biograph story, he is the absolute victim of his own indifference and perfidy to an extreme degree. Walter Avery is blessed with a most dutiful and loving wife, whose every endeavor and thought is to make him happy, but he being a man of the world, finds domestic life dull, and his wife’s attentions boring. Hence, it is with eagerness that he accepts invitations to the different social functions. Accompanied by his wife, he attends a social gathering and there meets a young dancing girl, society’s favorite entertainer. He is immediately obsessed with an infatuation for the girl, and it is evident that his feelings are reciprocated. Mrs. Avery’s suspicions are aroused and she accuses him of undue attentions toward the dancer. He, of course, denies her accusations and cajoles her into believing that his thoughts are always only for her. Nevertheless, the time comes when she sees positive proof of his perfidy in a letter to him from the girl inviting him to attend a dinner at her house given in his honor, hoping he will not fail to grace the occasion. When he is about to leave for the dancer’s home, Mrs. Avery picks up a bottle of poison, threatening to take her life if he goes. Regarding this threat merely a jealous woman’s trick to keep him home, he not only treats it with derision, but pours the contents of the bottle into a goblet, remarking that it would be more convenient to take it that way, and off he goes. When he is gone the true aspect of the situation dawns on her. She realizes for the first time what a despicable wretch he is, and not worth the effort to save him, so she dashes the glass with its contents to the floor. However, the strain of the ordeal through which she has passed proves too much for her, and she falls in a swoon to the floor. Meanwhile, Avery has reached the home of the dancer, and is toasted at his entrance. By strange coincidence, the glass handed to him is identical with the one he handed his wife. He at once becomes conscience-stricken that his wife may have carried out her threat. Rushing back to his home he finds his wife in a swoon, but he thinks her dead. Dead, and he caused it! At this moment he becomes a veritable maniac. Dashing madly out of the house, he re-enters the dancer’s home like a fiend. The guests are thrown into a panic as he shrieks, ‘I killed my wife! I killed my wife!’ and falls across the table dead, struck down by the relentless avenger of injured virtue.”—4 Jun 1910 Moving Picture World +

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

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