The Stolen Play (1917)

Sylvia Smalley is the secretary of Charles Edmay, a distinguished blind playwright. Leroux, a producer, is eager to buy the play that Edmay has just completed, but the playwright is ... See full summary »

Director:

Harry Harvey
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ruth Roland ... Sylvia Smalley
Ed Brady ... Leroux (as Edward J. Brady)
William Conklin William Conklin ... Charles Edmay
Lucy Blake Lucy Blake ... Alice Mason
Harry Southard Harry Southard ... Foster
Ruth Lackaye Ruth Lackaye ... Mrs. Edmay
Makoto Inokuchi ... Togo

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Storyline

Sylvia Smalley is the secretary of Charles Edmay, a distinguished blind playwright. Leroux, a producer, is eager to buy the play that Edmay has just completed, but the playwright is reluctant to sell. Leroux sends Alice Morgan to steal the script while he abducts Edmay and Sylvia. While Edmay is detained in the wine cellar, Leroux exercises his hypnotic powers over Sylvia, extracting a dictation of the entire play from her. Discovering that in a hypnotic state Sylvia has great dramatic powers, Leroux successfully casts her in the play's lead. Her effort is too great, however, and she succumbs to exhaustion. Leroux awakens her from her trance, and, realizing what has happened, Sylvia reproaches him so harshly that he consents to release Edmay from the cellar. Leroux then plans a dramatic end to his life by entombing himself alive. At that moment, Sylvia awakens and realizes that the whole incident had been a dream triggered by nervous exhaustion. Written by Pamela Short

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Genres:

Drama

User Reviews

Harrowing Story
20 June 2017 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

"The Stolen Play" starts out as a straight-forward story about a theatrical agent who wants to produce the next play written by a celebrated blind playwright. But the story quickly takes a dark turn, as the agent is dishonest and dispatches his assistant to steal the play from the playwright, who says he will not sell it. Matters head further downhill as the assistant is caught, the butler is shot, the playwright and his fiancé are kidnapped and held in the agents country hideaway. What starts out as a routine drama becomes a terrible kidnapping-gone-wrong.

It is 1915 and the acting is somewhat overwrought by today's standards, but all concerned turn in excellent performances. The story holds your attention right to the end, with an unexpected turn of events to conclude the show. Often when watching such old and dated stories one can't help but wonder how events would turn out in today's world , and "The Stolen Play" is no different. The feeling here is that this story would indeed work nowadays as it has a timeless quality, as well as an escalating urgency which is rare in modern pictures.

Viewed at Mostly Lost Weekend, Library of Congress, 6/16/17.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1917 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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