Volume 2: Filmography

 

MERCY ON A CRUTCH

 

July 13, 1915 (Tuesday)

Length: 2 reels (1,864 feet)

Character: Drama

Director: John Harvey

Cast: Helen Fulton (Mercy Tanner), John Lehnberg (the sheriff), Carey L. Hastings (his wife), Helen Badgley (their child), Wayne Arey (Ned Franey), Thomas Hand (Wiley), Tulla Hough, Jock Gironda, John Lehnberg, Morgan Niblack (sheriff), William Harvey, W. Eugene Moore, Jr., John William Kellette, and Leo Post (posse members)

Notes: 1. Reel Life, which was having great difficulty with the spelling of Wayne Arey's surname during this time, often spelling it "Ayre" or another variation, in its July 10, 1915 issue, in a cast listing for Mercy on a Crutch, came up with "Eyrie." 2. Tulla Hough was designated as "Lula" Hough in some publicity; she was also known as Tula Belle. 3. This was the last Thanhouser film directed by John Harvey (although it was not his last film to be released). 4. In The New Rochelle Pioneer, June 19, 1915, Thomas Hand's first name was given as "Ed."

 

ADVERTISEMENT, The Moving Picture World, July 17, 1915:

"A unique character is the little girl Mercy who is dropped as from heaven into a frontier town where a kind word is most rare. And makes a gentle little soul of veritable spitfire, and also gives play for some thrilling action."

 

ARTICLE, The New Rochelle Pioneer, May 29, 1915. It is presumed that the following article pertains to Mercy on a Crutch; however, Riley Chamberlin did not have the lead role in this picture:

"One wouldn't recognize Oak Street and Pugsley Hollow Monday and Tuesday, because it took on a real Wild West atmosphere. Jack Harvey is doing a Western picture featuring Helen Badgley and Riley Chamberlin, and 'Doctor' McCarthy and his gallant crew changed the Murray Place into a Western grocery and post office. Horses were used and a stage coach figured into the scheme of things, and the housewives in the neighborhood left undone those things which should have been done, to watch Harvey's group do the picture. One could get the aroma of burning edibles and knew that many a good dinner had to be thrown away because of the novelty which drew the cooks away from gas ranges. And the kiddies were late for school, too, more than 200 of them remaining beyond the period of grade to see the Thanhouser Kidlet in action. 'Jumping Jocko' Gironda did great work in riding as a Pony Express messenger."

 

ARTICLE, The New Rochelle Pioneer, June 19, 1915:

"In Jack Harvey's last picture produced while he was in the employ of the Thanhouser Company, some great wild and wooly riding was secured for a two-reel script, Mercy on a Crutch.... Leo [Post], by the way, made one of the finest falls ever seen on the screen, covering about 15 feet, and narrowly escaping death; Jock [Gironda] made a fall at a crossroads when he was shot from a horse that was a pippin, and all in all, the riding compared with anything yet seen in a Western script."

 

SYNOPSIS, Reel Life, July 10, 1915:

"In the primitive society of the mining camp town where Mercy lived, there was no niche for a cripple. The first person who had ever spoken kindly to the little lame orphan was a stranger who disappeared from the camp that same night. A few days later, the sheriff went with his posse into the mountains to hunt down a certain Wiley, an outlaw. Mercy had seen the stranger hiding in the hills. Once she fancied she saw him creep into a cave. She knew the meaning of the hard-twist rope coiled on the sheriff's saddle-horn. It was a wonderful ride the little cripple girl made to save the fugitive. She found him in the cave, wounded and alone. There the sheriff discovered them. 'But this ain't Wiley,' he said. 'It is Ned Franey, the new sheriff at Vista. How'd you get in this shape, Ned?' The stranger pointed to the rear of the cave. Presently, the posse brought forth the outlaw, in irons. Franey had trapped and imprisoned him, single-handed. The new sheriff of Vista brought happiness at last to his little deliverer."

 

REVIEW, The Moving Picture World, July 24, 1915:

"A two-reel offering of considerable appeal, telling the story of a poor orphan girl made a cripple for life by her brutal uncle. She saves the life of a neighboring town marshal, who is mistaken for an outlaw. The story is told in a simple, direct manner and is well constructed. Some of the photography is little dim, but the offering as a whole is quite strong."

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