An Anti-Alcohol Message

R: Unknown. D: Glen White, Sadie Weston. P: Gem Motion Picture Company. USA 1913
Print: EYE (Jean Desmet Collection)
Dutch titles

“Almost from the very outset motion picture producers found a lucerative niche producing films with an anti-alcohol message. The 1902 film Les victimes de l’alcoolisme was the first attempt by the newly formed Pathé company to exploit the burgeoning demand for anti-absinthe and anti-alcohol propaganda. Les Victimes de l’alcool (1911), a far more sophisticated film, was enthusiastically promoted by the temperance movement and was a huge success for Pathé. Absinthe (1913) is the only surviving U.S.-made absinthe related motion picture from the pre-ban era, featuring one of the very few filmed versions of absinthe being prepared and consumed.”
UC Berkeley

The Lesson
R: David W. Griffith. B: Dell Henderson. K: G.W. Bitzer. D: W. Chrystie Miller, Joseph Graybill, Stephanie Longfellow, Edward Dillon, Alfred Paget. P: Biograph Company. USA 1910
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“At one time the Biograph Company had quite a reputation for sermons. Here is one which has much of the original flavor, representing a young man disobeying the wishes of his father, a minister, to become a preacher; sinking lower and lower until just as his father dies he kills a man in a saloon brawl, and but for the plea of a sister would have been taken to prison, even as his father died. Whatever may be thought of this type of picture individually, the power it exerts upon an audience cannot be questioned. Like the horrible examples graphically shown in the goody-goody Sunday school books these films possess a fascination which cannot be denied, yet perhaps few would care to acknowledge its influence. The dramatic attractiveness in this particular instance consists in reproducing a domestic scene, unhappily too common, in some of its aspects at least, in such a way that the events seem to be transpiring before the audience. It is a graphic and impressive illustration of the commandment to honor, which means obey, one’s parents.”
The Moving Picture World, December 31, 1910