A Drunkard's Reformation (1909)

9.45 mins | Melodrama | 1 April 1909

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HISTORY

Filmed at Biograph's New York City studio. The opening card announces: "The Most Powerful Temperance Lecture Ever Depicted." The cast member title card also reads: "Incorporating scenes from Emile Zola's play 'L'assommoir.'"
       A copy of A Drunkard's Reformaton from the Library of Congress Paper Film Collection is extant and widely available. ...

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Filmed at Biograph's New York City studio. The opening card announces: "The Most Powerful Temperance Lecture Ever Depicted." The cast member title card also reads: "Incorporating scenes from Emile Zola's play 'L'assommoir.'"
       A copy of A Drunkard's Reformaton from the Library of Congress Paper Film Collection is extant and widely available.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
BIOB2
p. 77
BPL
pp. 112-113
EMP
p. 84
LCMP
p. 16, column 3
LCPP
p. 181
Moving Picture World
27 Mar 1909
p. 357ta, 376ts, 382tl
NFAC3
p. 167
Nickelodeon
1 May 1909
p. 145s
NYDM
3 Apr 1909
p. 24ta
NYDM
10 Apr 1909
p. 14r
The Daily Worker
pp. 42-43
Treasures from the Film Archives
p. 256
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 April 1909
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
American Mutoscope and Biograph Co.
31 March 1909
H125114
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
9.45
Length(in feet):
983
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

"The story told is a simple one, and grips from the very start. John Wharton, the husband of a true and trusting wife and father of an eight-year-old girl, through the association of rakish companions becomes addicted to the drink habit, and while the demon rum has not fastened its tentacles firmly, yet there is no question that given free rein, the inevitable would culminate in time. Arriving home one afternoon in a wine besotted condition, he is indeed a terrifying spectacle to his little family. Later, after he has slept off the effects to some extent, while at supper the little girl shows him two tickets for the theater, begging him to take her. After some persuasion, he consents to go. The play is a dramatization of Emile Zola's L'Assommoir, which shows how short a journey it is from peace and happiness to woe and despair by the road of rum. Here the picture shows both the action and the play and the psychological influence it has on the audience, Wharton especially. Here is shown a most clever piece of motion picture producing, portraying the downward path of the young man who was induced to take his first drink; how it finally became an unconquerable habit, causing poverty and suffering for his wife and child and death for himself, while at the same time presenting a sermon to Wharton in front, sinking deeper and deeper into his heart, until at the final curtain he is a changed man, going homeward with a firm determination that he will drink no more, which he promises his wife upon his return. Two years later, we ...

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"The story told is a simple one, and grips from the very start. John Wharton, the husband of a true and trusting wife and father of an eight-year-old girl, through the association of rakish companions becomes addicted to the drink habit, and while the demon rum has not fastened its tentacles firmly, yet there is no question that given free rein, the inevitable would culminate in time. Arriving home one afternoon in a wine besotted condition, he is indeed a terrifying spectacle to his little family. Later, after he has slept off the effects to some extent, while at supper the little girl shows him two tickets for the theater, begging him to take her. After some persuasion, he consents to go. The play is a dramatization of Emile Zola's L'Assommoir, which shows how short a journey it is from peace and happiness to woe and despair by the road of rum. Here the picture shows both the action and the play and the psychological influence it has on the audience, Wharton especially. Here is shown a most clever piece of motion picture producing, portraying the downward path of the young man who was induced to take his first drink; how it finally became an unconquerable habit, causing poverty and suffering for his wife and child and death for himself, while at the same time presenting a sermon to Wharton in front, sinking deeper and deeper into his heart, until at the final curtain he is a changed man, going homeward with a firm determination that he will drink no more, which he promises his wife upon his return. Two years later, we find the little family seated, happy and peaceful, at their fireside and we know that the promise has been kept."--27 Mar 1909 Moving Picture World

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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.