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HISTORY

The 18 Jul 1914 Motography noted that Lubin was currently “staging” the film version of Winchell Smith’s 1909 play The Fortune Hunter, “in which over three hundred people will appear…in five reels of two hundred scenes.” Among the motion picture performers listed was “Bennie of Lubinville,” whose identity is unclear. A brief plot summary in the 3 Oct 1914 Motography identified the small town where “Nat Duncan” settled as “Radville.”
       In the play, the “Duncan” character was portrayed by John Barrymore.
       The 10 Oct 1914 Variety reported that the “first screen presentation” of The Fortune Hunter was given at Oscar Hammerstein’s Lexington Avenue opera house the previous week.
       Smith's play was filmed twice more: by Vitagraph in 1920, and by Warner Bros. in 1927, with Syd Chaplin starring and Charles F. Reisner directing (see entries). ...

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The 18 Jul 1914 Motography noted that Lubin was currently “staging” the film version of Winchell Smith’s 1909 play The Fortune Hunter, “in which over three hundred people will appear…in five reels of two hundred scenes.” Among the motion picture performers listed was “Bennie of Lubinville,” whose identity is unclear. A brief plot summary in the 3 Oct 1914 Motography identified the small town where “Nat Duncan” settled as “Radville.”
       In the play, the “Duncan” character was portrayed by John Barrymore.
       The 10 Oct 1914 Variety reported that the “first screen presentation” of The Fortune Hunter was given at Oscar Hammerstein’s Lexington Avenue opera house the previous week.
       Smith's play was filmed twice more: by Vitagraph in 1920, and by Warner Bros. in 1927, with Syd Chaplin starring and Charles F. Reisner directing (see entries).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motography
18 Jul 1914
p. 88.
Motography
3 Oct 1914
p. 457, 458.
Moving Picture World
7 Nov 1914
p. 844, 846.
NYDM
30 Sep 1914
p. 32.
Variety
10 Oct 1914
p. 25.
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1914
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Lubin Mfg Co.
17 September 1914
LU3372
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,000
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Nat Duncan, a rich wastrel, is called home from college after his father dies and learns that the family is bankrupt. Fortunately, his old college buddy, the industrious Harry Kellogg, gets him a job as a traveling salesman at a mercantile firm, but Nat is soon dismissed for lavishly overextending his expense account. Nat goes from job to job, failing each time, and eventually ends up sleeping on a park bench, where Harry finds him. Harry takes Nat home and, after consulting with several of their college friends, proposes a bargain: Harry will give Nat $500 capital if he will move to a small town, give up his expensive vices, attend church regularly, and marry a rich woman. Nat agrees, signs a contract, and goes to the village of Redville, where he becomes a model citizen. He applies for a job with pharmacist Sam Graham, an old inventor and drug store owner, whose obsessive tinkering has allowed his store to fall into disrepair. Told by Sam that he cannot afford a clerk, Nat offers to work for free if the old widower teaches him the drug store business. Before long, the energetic Nat uses part of his $500 to restore the store's credit, orders new stock, installs a soda fountain, and gets the drug store back on its feet. He also befriends and buys a new dress for Graham’s daughter, Betty, who has grown up knowing only poverty and hard work as a household drudge. But the girl who catches Nat’s eye is Josie Lockwood, daughter of the prosperous town banker who at first tried to foreclose on the drug store before Nat made a payment, and within a ...

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Nat Duncan, a rich wastrel, is called home from college after his father dies and learns that the family is bankrupt. Fortunately, his old college buddy, the industrious Harry Kellogg, gets him a job as a traveling salesman at a mercantile firm, but Nat is soon dismissed for lavishly overextending his expense account. Nat goes from job to job, failing each time, and eventually ends up sleeping on a park bench, where Harry finds him. Harry takes Nat home and, after consulting with several of their college friends, proposes a bargain: Harry will give Nat $500 capital if he will move to a small town, give up his expensive vices, attend church regularly, and marry a rich woman. Nat agrees, signs a contract, and goes to the village of Redville, where he becomes a model citizen. He applies for a job with pharmacist Sam Graham, an old inventor and drug store owner, whose obsessive tinkering has allowed his store to fall into disrepair. Told by Sam that he cannot afford a clerk, Nat offers to work for free if the old widower teaches him the drug store business. Before long, the energetic Nat uses part of his $500 to restore the store's credit, orders new stock, installs a soda fountain, and gets the drug store back on its feet. He also befriends and buys a new dress for Graham’s daughter, Betty, who has grown up knowing only poverty and hard work as a household drudge. But the girl who catches Nat’s eye is Josie Lockwood, daughter of the prosperous town banker who at first tried to foreclose on the drug store before Nat made a payment, and within a few weeks they become engaged. Betty, realizing that she loves Nat, remains silent in her heartbreak. As the store thrives, Nat buys a new home for Sam and Betty, convinces one of her uncles to send her off to college, and fixes a workplace where Sam can concentrate on his inventions. He also continues wooing Josie, which raises the hackles of her former suitor, Lockwood bank clerk Roland Barnette, who hires a private detective to undercover Nat’s background. When Betty returns from college, she has become such a bewitching girl that Nat realizes he has loved her all along. He writes Harry that the deal is off, he is not going to marry an heiress, and Harry arrives on the next train with the contract in his hand. Not only does Harry refuse to let Nat back out of the deal, he falls in love with Betty himself. More and more, Nat finds refuge in helping Sam with his latest invention, an incendiary device that can be dropped from an airplane. Meanwhile, Roland’s detective delivers evidence of Nat's run-ins with various past employers, and Josie’s father declares an end to the engagement. But Nat is unfazed by this turn of events, especially after a corporation contacts him and Sam to offer a small fortune for the exclusive rights to their joint invention after it blows up their laboratory, forcing to Betty to pull the insensible Nat from the flames. Now rich enough on his own, Nat proposes to Betty and she accepts.

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

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