On the Threshold

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A morality play on the value of spousal unity in the family, this simple story depicts a man and his wife having an argument about evening plans. She wants to go to a reception, and he refuses. Saying goodnight to their toddler upstairs, she leaves home with a former admirer. Feeling perhaps remorseful, she instead asks to be dropped off at her mother’s house, for a little tea and sympathy. Meanwhile at home, the child comes down stairs to find her father ruminating by the fire, and crawls up in to his lap. Chatting about good family memories, she falls asleep, leaving him to remember the whole marriage, which is portrayed in a flashback, using an early special effect Lubin liked to call a “vision.” It was accomplished by masking, and thus not exposing, a portion of the frame so that another set of images could later be exposed in that area. When the wife returns home, she finds the child not in bed and panics until she realizes that she is downstairs asleep in her father’s arms. Relieved, all are united once again.

Betzwood Film Co., 1913. 14 min. Featuring: George Nichols, Edwin Carewe, Ernestine Morley and Mary Smith.

MC3 Libraries copy: DVD copy derived from a library VHS copy of Betzwood Archive master. Quality of original transfer: poor. Transfer title credits (added at time of videotape transfer) note a copyright date of 1910, however Mr. Joseph Eckhart has verified that the date was 1913.

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