Released 7/4/14 by Universal/101 Bison; Director: Allan Dwan; Screenplay: Allan Dwan and Murdock MacQuarrie; Cinematography: Lee O. Bartholomew; Continuity: Grace Johnson; 3 reels

CAST: Murdock MacQuarrie (Jean Basse), Pauline Bush (Pauline Basse), William C. Dowlan (The Artist), George Cooper (The Janitor), Lon Chaney (An Italian Vendor)

SYNOPSIS: Old Jean Basse and his granddaughter Pauline live in poverty- stricken Blind Alley, and they sell miniature statues to make a living. Jean's one ambition in life is to own a high silk hat, and when he comes into a small inheritance, he buys a hat and plans to use the rest of money to help his friends in the alley. He finds that the entire inheritance has been attached by creditors except for a dusty old painting. Pauline is in love with a struggling artist in their building, and on seeing the painting the young artist proclaims it to be an original Van Dyke, worth a small fortune. A famous artist learns of the painting and first tries to cheat Jean out of it, then attempts to steal it, but he is thwarted. Pauline's sweetheart sells several of his paintings and the now successful artist proposes marriage. On the day of the wedding, the young couple present Jean with a new silk hat, but the old man is dying, and putting the new hat on his head, he gives the valuable painting to the newlyweds.

"This (picture) has a number of strong points. It gives an intimate and convincing picture of tenement life. It develops a pleasing story, naturally and appealingly and has a number of strong character parts. Murdock MacQuarrie makes a memorable part of the old grandfather. The Italian vendor of statuettes (Chaney) made a good touch, and the silk hat episode contains the right human element. The whole production shows an unusual feeling for picturing real life on the screen. A strong offering." ---Moving Picture World

© 1996,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis

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