In the Mountains of Kentucky (1910)
In the Mountains of Kentucky
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5th
Nature Has Placed Nothing So High That the Vitagraph Cannot Reach It. This Surpasses All Previous Efforts in Dramatic Value and Mightiness of Action. Length, 978 Feet.
WAY up in the mountains of Kentucky, Jake, a moonshiner, lives in a shack with his wife Sally far from the rest of the world, with the least possible chance of being disturbed by the Revenue officers who are constantly on the lookout for illicit stills and distillers of whiskey.
Jake is a typical mountaineer, and his wife "Sal" - well, she is a woman whose love for Jake has made her little better than a slave and subject of small consideration for one of Jake's coarse and brutal nature.
Sally's cousin Sue writes that she is not very well and will visit Sally for a change and a rest. She comes to the mountain home and immediately Jake begins to show her marked attention, ignores his wife, who becomes extremely jealous, rightly so, and resents the familiarity of her husband and her cousin. Sue is a vixen and seems to delight in the torture and indignities to which she is subjecting the poor wife.
Driven to a frenzy, Sally betrays Jake to the Sheriff and Revenue officers, who arrest him. He tries to strike his frail wife, and turns to Sue for sympathy, but she is indifferent about his misfortune, pleased in receiving the attention from one of the officers who is chucking her under the chin and winking at her, and she pays no attention to Jake as he is taken away to jail.
This is a brilliant piece of acting, but is dwarfed by the fury of Sal when she is left alone with her cousin Sue. She turns on the intruder, drives her from the house with inflamed frenzy, hurls her belongings after her and falls exhausted against the door.
A year later Jake is released from prison and makes his way to his mountain home, bent upon killing his wife. Arriving at the cabin, he looks in the window and then creeps cautiously through the door, holding a large club in his hand, as he sees his wife sitting in a chair unaware of his presence. Just as he raises the club to strike her, he sees for the first time his infant child, which his wife holds tenderly to her bosom. She kisses the child and lifts it up so it looks into its father's face. He drops the cudgel and kneels reverently at his wife's feet, and asks her if she can forgive him. She does. His heart is touched and his nature seems transformed and purified. This is a climax that rends every emotion of tenderness in our being and acts like a benediction of peace to our souls.
From The Film Index, November 5, 1910, page 16
with Florence Turner. Directed by <unknown>. Vitagraph/General Film.
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Last Modified September 22, 2012.