Volume 2: Filmography

 

FROM THE RIVER'S DEPTHS

a.k.a. A CALL FROM THE DEAD

British release title: TO THE RIVER'S DEPTHS

September 5, 1915 (Sunday)

Length: 1 reel (1,002 feet)

Character: Drama

Director: Henry Clement Easton

Scenario: Gertrude Thanhouser

Cast: Ethyle Cooke (Dorothy Hewins), Justus D. Barnes (William Hewins, her father), Boyd Marshall (Walter Van Vleck), Thomas Curran (Convict Syd)

Notes: 1. This film was first announced as A Call From the Dead, and then at the release time was advertised as From the River's Depths. The first may have been a working title. 2. The release date of this film was listed erroneously as Sunday, August 5, 1915 in a Thanhouser advertisement in The Moving Picture World, September 4, 1915. 3. This was the only Thanhouser film directed by Henry Clement Easton, who remained with the studio for only about a month. He directed this film during the last part of July 1915.

 

SYNOPSIS, Reel Life, September 4, 1915:

"Convict Syd, escaped from state prison, finds a hiding place near a river bank on the outskirts of a small town, where he is confronted by the problem of how to get rid of his striped uniform and obtain a new identity. A well-dressed man happens along. The convict attacks him. Later, when he has put on the victim's clothes, he discovers in the pocket a letter to William Hewins, the local banker, explaining that its bearer is the son of an English nobleman who has come to America on financial business. The convict weights the body and sinks it in the river. He disposes of his striped suit in the same way. Next day he present himself at the office of the banker. He forges his victim's signature and has no difficulty in opening an account. Hewins invites the supposed Englishman to his home, and when his visitor shows signs of being interested in Dorothy, the banker's daughter, her father favors the match.

"One day, in Hewins' house, the impostor picks up an illustrated London paper. In it is a picture of the man in the river. The convict realizes that his secret cannot long be hidden. He fears that the banker already has seen the picture. However, he tears it to bits and throws the scraps into the wastepaper basket. Then he asks Hewins to go with him to look at some property he is thinking of buying. Dorothy has witnessed the actions of the impostor and her suspicions are aroused. She confides her fears to Walter Van Vleck, her lover. They piece together the torn picture and learn the truth. Believing that Dorothy's father may be in danger, they hurry off to overtake Hewins and the convict. On the river bank they find the two men struggling desperately. The convict wounds the banker, and flees. But newcomers on the scene give pursuit, cutting off his escape. The hopeless man plunges into the river. He has almost reached the opposite bank when he looks down, and a cry of horror breaks from his lips. 'It is he. He is calling me,' cries the murderer - and sinks beneath the slimy surface. Later, they drag the river. The body is found, the arms of a skeleton fastened around its neck. A bundle containing a suit of convict's clothes, also caught in the net, tells the story."

 

REVIEW, The Moving Picture World, September 11, 1915: This review is reprinted in the narrative section of the present work.

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