Volume 2: Filmography

 

A MOHAMMEDAN CONSPIRACY

 

May 12, 1914 (Tuesday)

Length: 2 reels (2,003 feet)

Character: Drama

Scenario: Lloyd F. Lonergan, from a story by Clarence Herbert New

Cast: James Cruze (Lord Trevor), Florence LaBadie (Nan, Trevor's ward), David H. Thompson (Sir Edward Wray), Frank Farrington (Selim, Trevor's servant), Justus D. Barnes (Abdul), Arthur Bauer (Shekh Elema, a desert tribesman), Leland Benham (Abdul's native servant)

Note: This was the fourth and last film directed by Frederick Sullivan and with scenarios by Lloyd Lonergan, derived from Clarence Herbert New's Adventures of a Diplomatic Free Lance series, which had been running for the previous five years in Blue Book magazine. The entire Thanhouser series comprised the following: A Leak In the Foreign Office (released February 17, 1914), The Cat's Paw (March 17, 1914), A Debut In the Secret Service (April 7, 1914), and A Mohammedan Conspiracy (May 12, 1914).

 

SYNOPSIS, Reel Life, May 9, 1914:

"Lord Trevor and Nan, his ward, famous diplomatic agents of England, receive word that there is some underhanded game being played in Egypt. The English government has been unable to lay its hands on any tangible evidence, and Abdul, the faithful Indian retainer of Lord Trevor, is sent to investigate. In six months he has made considerable headway, but, unfortunately, his identity is discovered, and his usefulness as a detective is lost. Nan, always of an adventurous disposition, determines to go to Egypt disguised as an Arab boy. She runs a fruit stand in Cairo and succeeds in winning the confidence of the natives. Eventually, she is taken into the conspiracy and learns, to her horror, that the plan is to poison the food supply of the English by injecting into the water, peddled by the water carriers, and into the market wares, germs of various deadly diseases. The English girl foils the plot, but her identity becomes known and she is in peril of her life. She is saved by the bravery and resourcefulness of Abdul."

 

REVIEW, The Morning Telegraph, May 10, 1914:

"Lord Trevor sends his follower, Abdul, into Egypt to learn the nature of the plot which the government agent has learned is hatching there among the natives. His identity is discovered and his usefulness lost. Nan, Lord Trevor's ward, decides to enter Cairo as an Arab boy. She does so and learns that the natives plan to poison the food and water supply of all the English residents of the city on a certain day. She succeeds in foiling the plot, but the leaders of the conspiracy find out who she is. Her life is in grave danger, but she is rescued by Abdul."

 

REVIEW, The Moving Picture World, May 23, 1914:

"A production full of Oriental atmosphere, it is a well done offering.... The beautiful scenes and romantic atmosphere embraced in this picture make it a very pleasing production."

 

REVIEW, The New York Dramatic Mirror, May 20, 1914:

"To see ourselves as others see us is often-times for our own good. To see others as the directors see them is often misleading. The worst that has happened in this picture of life in Egypt is that the girl sells apples, oranges, and pineapples in the marketplace. We doubt very much whether in any season of the year this combination of fruit is sold in Egypt. It may seem at first that this is overcaptious on our part, yet where we saw the picture it excited considerable comment. The play is the next in the Diplomatic Free Lance series. Acquaintance is necessary with the characters as they have occurred in the previous installments. Not only that, but there is a good deal of doubt as to the action as the play proceeds. The faces of a good many are swarthy, and add to this the further confusing fact that some Caucasians make themselves up as Egyptians, and the very closest of attention is required. In the main, the story runs along in an interesting vein, until finally the girl is imprisoned in the rooms of the Sheik. Then the offering overflows with excitement and holds it so until the end.

"The conspiracy consists of the fact that the Mohammedans have discovered a deadly germ. Lord Trevor has been sent to Egypt by his government to investigate the nature of the conspiracy which his government has heard is being planned, but of which no details can be obtained. Months of work have not forwarded his task much, and he is now at his wits' end, for the natives by now know him and his mission. His intrepid ward volunteers for the work, and, disguised, sells fruit at a stand in the marketplace. The Sheik arouses her suspicions and she follows him to his laboratory, where he instructs the faithful in the use of a new deadly germ to be put in the water and food of the English. He suspects the girl and attacks her after the meeting when the others have left. Selim [sic; other accounts say Abdul], the servant, comes to her rescue, and after killing the Sheik, helps her to destroy the fatal germs."

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May 15, 1914 (Friday)

No Thanhouser release because of the two-reel film of the preceding Tuesday.

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