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HISTORY

According to information on the print of the film in the AFI Collection at the Library of Congress, the film opened with the front cover of an unidentified issue of Picture Play Magazine . A hand was seen opening the magazine, turning several pages, then stopping at a text entitled "Vengeance of the Dead, by Lynn Mearson." The opening title card also featured a statement that read: "from famous stories published in Ainslee's Magazine , Smith's Magazine, Popular Magazine, Top Notch Magazine and Picture Play Magazine . This film also appeared in the release charts as Vengeance of Death and Dungeons of the Dead . Actor Philo McCullough's surname was credited onscreen as "McCollough." Because Fortune Photoplays, which was run by the Horkheimer brothers, went through financial difficulties and disbanded in Jun 1917, it is possible that the picture was never shown ... More Less

According to information on the print of the film in the AFI Collection at the Library of Congress, the film opened with the front cover of an unidentified issue of Picture Play Magazine . A hand was seen opening the magazine, turning several pages, then stopping at a text entitled "Vengeance of the Dead, by Lynn Mearson." The opening title card also featured a statement that read: "from famous stories published in Ainslee's Magazine , Smith's Magazine, Popular Magazine, Top Notch Magazine and Picture Play Magazine . This film also appeared in the release charts as Vengeance of Death and Dungeons of the Dead . Actor Philo McCullough's surname was credited onscreen as "McCollough." Because Fortune Photoplays, which was run by the Horkheimer brothers, went through financial difficulties and disbanded in Jun 1917, it is possible that the picture was never shown theatrically. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
12 May 17
p. 979.
ETR
17 Mar 17
p. 1050.
MPW
21 Apr 17
p. 500.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Dungeons of the Dead
Vengeance of Death
Release Date:
March 1917
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
4
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Michael Tcheoff, a foreign spy, is plotting to steal the secret plans of a new submarine. He enlists the help of Lilas Velso, a Russian ballerina who is in love with ship designer David Royston. Royston, however, gives the plans to his cousin, Captain Salwin of the United States Secret Service. After a ballet performance, Tcheoff instructs Lilas to ask Royston to bring his cousin to the ball. At the ball, again following Tcheoff's instructions, Lilas feigns dizziness and asks Salwin to take her home. [print is missing almost a full reel at this point.] point, almost a full reel, is missing.] Before she dies, Lilas tells Royston her life's story: In Russia, she lives in a hovel with a brutish drunkard for a husband; she kills her husband in an effort to prevent him from seizing her meager savings hidden in their baby's crib; Tcheoff, whom she had met after being discharged from ballet school, witnesses the event and promises to take care of her and her daughter Mignon. Now that Lilas is dead, Tcheoff swears revenge. Royston now takes care of Mignon, who has grown into a beautiful young woman. Royston realizes that he loves Mignon and the two marry. Tcheoff, now ill and weak, moves into a home near the couple and wins Mignon's favors by staging an attack on her and chasing the "intruder" away. Royston, however, is suspicious and disapproves of his wife seeing Tcheoff. After Tcheoff dies and leaves his wealth to Mignon, Royston succumbs to the rumors about his wife's relationship with the Russian and orders her ... +


Michael Tcheoff, a foreign spy, is plotting to steal the secret plans of a new submarine. He enlists the help of Lilas Velso, a Russian ballerina who is in love with ship designer David Royston. Royston, however, gives the plans to his cousin, Captain Salwin of the United States Secret Service. After a ballet performance, Tcheoff instructs Lilas to ask Royston to bring his cousin to the ball. At the ball, again following Tcheoff's instructions, Lilas feigns dizziness and asks Salwin to take her home. [print is missing almost a full reel at this point.] point, almost a full reel, is missing.] Before she dies, Lilas tells Royston her life's story: In Russia, she lives in a hovel with a brutish drunkard for a husband; she kills her husband in an effort to prevent him from seizing her meager savings hidden in their baby's crib; Tcheoff, whom she had met after being discharged from ballet school, witnesses the event and promises to take care of her and her daughter Mignon. Now that Lilas is dead, Tcheoff swears revenge. Royston now takes care of Mignon, who has grown into a beautiful young woman. Royston realizes that he loves Mignon and the two marry. Tcheoff, now ill and weak, moves into a home near the couple and wins Mignon's favors by staging an attack on her and chasing the "intruder" away. Royston, however, is suspicious and disapproves of his wife seeing Tcheoff. After Tcheoff dies and leaves his wealth to Mignon, Royston succumbs to the rumors about his wife's relationship with the Russian and orders her out of the house. After their divorce becomes final, he receives a message from Tcheoff, sealed on the day of the old man's death, informing him that his wife is innocent and that it was all a plot to get back at him for Lilas's death. Royston visits Mignon's lawyer and finds out that she has given birth to their child. Although angry at her husband for letting himself be deceived by Tcheoff, Mignon eventually agrees to see him. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Espionage


Subject
Subject (Major):

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.