Volume 2: Filmography

 

A CIRCUS STOWAWAY

 

June 2, 1911 (Friday)

Length: 1,000 feet

Character: Drama

Cast: Marie Eline (the little boy stowaway)

Location: With scenes from a Barnum & Bailey Circus street parade.

 

ADVERTISEMENT, The Moving Picture World, May 27, 1911:

"One gripping powerful story of circus adventure with enough thrills and enough human interest to set it straight to the spectator's heart. It deals with a little boy who went to see the circus and was carried away with it - actually, not literally. When the lost lad found this to be the fact, he found troubles galore, but he was yanked out of them by a circus performer who proved to be one of nature's own noblemen."

 

SYNOPSIS, The Moving Picture World, May 27, 1911:

"Ted, a tiny orphan, sees his first circus parade and is much impressed with it. So much so, in fact, that he follows the line of march to the big tent and manages to get a free ticket by helping to care for the animals. So he became a circus stowaway. This is something that small boys frequently attempt, but seldom get away with it. But Ted, despite his youth, was resourceful. He hid in an empty animal wagon, had a perfectly delightful, sleepless, goose-flesh-raising ride to the next town. For he figured that perhaps a Royal Bengal tiger might come home at any moment and object to crowded quarters. But nothing terrible happened except that the next day he was discovered and dragged from his place of refuge. The man who found him was about to throw him out, and would have done so had it not been for a kindly circus rider, who came along, rescued him, took him to his dressing room, fed him some wonderful circus sandwiches, and put him to sleep on a pile of clothes in the corner.

"Ted vowed that he would do anything in the world for the man who had been so kind to him, and his chance came shortly. For one of the ring masters, applied to for assistance in locating a missing heir to a large estate, laid a plot to swindle the rightful heir out of his portion. He did not notice Ted, who was lying very quietly in the corner, but Ted did not miss a word, especially when he realized it was his benefactor who was about to be swindled. Ted foils the plot in a decidedly novel way, just when the wicked ringmaster and his accomplice thought that victory was in their grasp. And Ted's benefactor never forgot that he owed his life of ease and luxury to the tiny circus stowaway whom he had befriended out of pure good nature."

 

REVIEW, The Billboard, June 3, 1911:

"A very good story is told in this film but the remarkable things are the setting and the acting. The story is simple and for that reason alone a good one, so that with a splendid production made of it an excellent result is obtained. A little boy of six is lured by the glare of the circus parade and enters the grounds, where he falls asleep in one of the wagons. He is carried to the next town before being discovered and is there protected by one of the performers. While in the performers tent he overhears a plot to get a hold of some money coming to his friend, and exposes it. The plot is disrupted and the performer secures the money. The circus scenes, which are real ones, are very good and the acting of the little stowaway quite amusing."

 

REVIEW, The Morning Telegraph, June 4, 1911:

"All save one scene being laid in the atmosphere and environs of a big circus, with caged wild beasts, horses, giraffes, camels and the other animals of a traveling menagerie, this photo-play is especially entertaining to the child, although it is a pleasing offering for all folk, big or little. It opens with the little hero, a street gamin and orphan, watching the street parade of the big show. The usual array of wagons, beasts and performers pass by all arrayed in their most gorgeous raiment. The boy hies forth to the circus lot and becoming tired climbs into a canvas covered wagon and falls asleep. He is later dragged out, after the show has traveled to the next town, and is befriended by one of the performers. The ring master and villain of the tale opens a letter addressed to this Jack Stevens, which informs the performer that a fortune awaits his calling at the law offices of the writer. The ring master and an accomplice plot to secure this inheritance. The little boy overhears their conversation from his resting place in a dressing room tent, crawls beneath the walls and then hurries to inform his benefactor. Jack resigns from the show because of further brutality of the ring master and with the lad hastens to the lawyers, the boy having purloined the letter from the pocket of the villain during the altercation. Jack and the youngster find the others there ahead of them, but throw them out without ceremony, and the letter and other evidence of identification being presented, Jack comes into his own. It is well acted and as already stated proved a most entertaining offering largely because of the genuine surroundings in which it is laid."

 

REVIEW, The Moving Picture World, June 7, 1911:

"Little Marie Eline, as the orphan boy, who according to this story, falls asleep in a circus wagon and is carried away, is delightful, and her acting was applauded by audible remarks of pleasure at the little fellow's doings. More than half of this long film seems to be a circus parade, close to the camera and very trying at least to this reviewer's eyes. The little stowaway is able to help his benefactor, the acrobat, and the episode that ends the film is interesting or is made so by this little player."

 

REVIEW, The New York Dramatic Mirror, June 7, 1911:

"This film is carefully worked out and has added interest in taking an actual circus for a background of its scenes, which includes the street parade of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The young street boy (Marie Eline) becomes enthused over this parade, and gaining admittance to the grounds hides in one of the carts. He is befriended in the next town by a circus rider. While sleeping in this performer's dressing room he overhears a conversation between the ring master and a friend of his to the effect that the performer had just inherited a fortune. It was planned that the friend should impersonate him. The boy steals the letter containing the information, and the plot is thwarted. The details are well taken care of."

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Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.