Best Crime Movies of 1919
The Star Boarder
Larry's absurdly plush life of ease as a convict comes to an end when his sentence is up. Tossed out, he tries several ways, including a stickup to get back in the comfortable jail. Exchanging clothes with a lookalike escaped prisoner, he goes back, only to find he's to be hung. Now desperate to leave again, he joins other cons in a jailbreak.
The Man Beneath
The renown Hindu scientist, Dr. Chindi Ashutor, who has conquered plague in India, visits Scotland and falls in love with Kate Erskine, whose sister Mary is engaged to Ashutor's college friend, James Bassett. Although Kate loves Ashutor, she says marriage would make them social outcasts.
The Tong Man
An opium smuggler is marked for murder in this story of the Chinese Mafia.
A young lady, who "hates the law" rises from the tenements to society. Financial reverses lead her to commit a series of burglaries as "The Bird". She becomes involved with the detective investigating the burglaries. After she confesses and pays for her crimes, they marry.
The Grocery Clerk
Big Ben has the largest store in the town of New Ralgia. His chief clerk is in love with the post mistress. The three of them get involved in a series of mishaps with their customers and with the town ladies' man, whose advances conceal a more sinister purpose.
A Gun Fightin' Gentleman
Cheyenne Harry, owner of the biggest cattle ranch in his corner of the west, is having trouble with John Merritt, a land-grabbing Chicago meat-packer. By some artifice of shrewd legal aid, Merritt manages to seize Harry's ranch under a bogus writ of foreclosure. Failing to get justice by his many letters to Merritt, Cheyenne Harry goes east and calls at the millionaire's mansion. At first, Merritt refuses to see him. Then, to cause amusement for his daughter, Helen, and her guests, he invites the "uncouth" westerner into his dining hall. He is sure that he will make some grave error in table deportment and afford them all a laugh. To the amazement of Merrit and the guests Harry's table manners are faultless. Then, to trick him into an embarrassing position, Merritt eats with his knife. Harry, realizing that it is proper for the guest to follow the example of the host, does likewise. He leaves the house chagrined but more determined than ever to get justice from Merritt.
A near-forgotten film, Virtuous Sinners tells the story of Dawn Emerson (Wanda Hawley), an abused wife cast out into the street by her uncaring husband. Rescued by a gang of down-and-out patrons of the “End of the Trail” mission, Dawn soon falls for a dapper mission benefactor, Hamilton Jones (Norman Kerry), who is also a high-end burglar. When a member of the mission gang, McGregor, is run over by a car while saving a child, Hamilton robs a home to pay his medical bills. Ratted out by a informant, Hamilton goes on trial, but Dawn and the rest of the gang – including a young Rudolph Valentino in a bit part – stand by his side.
The Carter Case
Science fiction serial.
When sawmill owner Helen Cole is kidnapped by bandits, it falls on lumberjack Dan Stevens to rescue her, but "Wirenail" Hedges is not willing to give up without a fight. Originally a fifteen-episode serial, all that is known to survive of "Smashing Barriers" today is this single reel abridgment created for the home movie market in 1932.
The Man Without a Face
Without a job and no money to spend, Blanche Mery (Gina Manès) has to accept a job offered by Gunter (Édouard Mathé), a strange millionaire wearing the black mask.
The Exquisite Thief
Blue Jean Billie (Dean), a prosperous young woman crook who lives apart from the denizens of the underworld, has pulled off many robberies of the high society world with the help of her pal Shaver Michael (De Grasse). Billie gains admission to the Vanderhoof dinner at which the engagement of their daughter to Lord Chesterton (Hall) will be announced. While the dinner is in progress, Billie gags and handcuffs special officer Detective Wood (Ross), and proceeds to make a wholesale robbery of the guests. She flees in an automobile and none succeed in tracking her save Lord Chesterton. She makes a prisoner of him, but a police raid follows and she must flee. Once more Lord Chesterton succeeds in following her and again she makes him her prisoner, but she learns to trust and love him. The special agent and Shaver Michael arrive at the scene with resulting complications, but a happy end results for all.
The Tiger's Trail
A cult of Hindu tiger worshippers and a gang of Western outlaws try to cheat a young woman out of rich mines that belong to her.
The Green Eyed Monster
The Green Eyed Monster is a lost 1919 Black-and-White silent film action adventure with little to scant information as to its release. It was produced by the Norman Film Manufacturing Company, a historic all-black film production company. Various dates of release are quoted in 1919 and 1921.
The Love Burglar
A young man infiltrates the underworld by pretending to be a convicted burglar. While undercover, he meets a young woman who turns out to be no more a part of gangland than he, but with similar reasons for disguising herself.
The Lone Wolf's Daughter
At a London auction, Princess Sonia bids against her husband, exiled Prince Victor, for a Corot landscape in which incriminating letters Sonia wrote are hidden, but it is bought by Michael Lanyard, suspected of being the mysterious, international thief "The Lone Wolf." After Lanyard gives Sonia the letters, she divorces Victor, marries Lanyard and dies after bearing their daughter Sonia. Years later, Sonia, who thinks she is the daughter of the Princess' maid, is found by Victor, now the leader of an underworld gang of Oriental crooks and Bolsheviks. Saying he is her father, Victor brings her to his home, hoping to entice Lanyard to make an appearance.
The Poppy Girl's Husband
A silent romantic love triangle crime melodrama about a man who gets out of prison after ten years and discovers that his wife has divorced him and married the man who sent him to prison. Worse yet, she fears he will want to exact revenge, so she sets up her new husband to frame her first husband, so he will be sent back to prison!
Wade Hildreth is sent to New York from London to receive a diamond necklace for Lady Gwendolyn from the jeweler Arabin. A gang of crooks led by Pete Fielding, known as "The Shadow," plans to keep Hildreth from going to Arabin's until they have robbed the store. Actress Morn Light, whom the Shadow loves, agrees to entice Hildreth to her apartment to be imprisoned. When she warns Hildreth because she wants to avenge her father's death, which was caused by the Shadow, the Shadow overhears and captures them both.
Louis Fernando fails to sell a patent upon which he has spent the better part of his life and drowns himself. His orphaned child Marie is adopted by Lord Chatterton. Geoffrey Brooke, who is in the employ of Lord Chatterton, falls in love with Marie. Chatterton's general manager Arthur Newton also loves Marie and formulates a scheme whereby he hopes to win her and also acquire the Chatterton fortune. Chatterton becomes suspicious and by a ruse traps Newton and exposes his plot. Marie and Geoffrey are made happy in the end.
Mary Regan is the daughter of a gentleman crook and an heiress. Although she has received a good upbringing, she refuses to marry Robert Clifford for fear of damaging his career as a city official. Some old associates of her father, Peter Loveman and Jim Bradley, want her to help them in their blackmailing schemes. She won't, and escapes from her trying situation by going to the mountains for a rest. A copy exists at the Archives du Film du CNC.
John Craig is a struggling young contractor who falls into a crooked business scheme. A trio of unsavory partners on the verge of dissolving their company have hired him for a job, assuming that he will fail.