Best Movies of 1909
The Judgment of Solomon
Directed by J. Stuart Blackton.
A Corner in Wheat
On a whim, a greedy tycoon decides to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing grain producers into charity lines and others further into poverty. The film contrasts the differences between the lives of those who work to grow the wheat and the life of the man who dabbles in its sale for profit.
Those Awful Hats
A pair of young ladies cause trouble at the cinema with their lavish hats.
Buck Minor was the most detested man in Wolf Hollow, partly because he was quarrelsome and treacherous, partly because he abused and neglected his little wife, Molly, whom all the camp adored, and for whose sake it tolerated Buck.
The Country Doctor
While caring for his sick daughter, a doctor is called away to the sickbed of a neighbor. He finds the neighbor gravely ill, and ignores his wife's pleas to come home and care for his own daughter, who has taken a turn for the worse.
Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy
A smoker falls asleep, and two mischievious fairies play with his pipe. He discovers this, and imprisons them in a cigar box. He removes a flower from the box, which contains a fairy smoking a cigarette. Next, he leaves briefly while his smoking paraphenalia clears itself from the table and the flower reassembles itself into a cigar. He lights the cigar, then breaks a bottle containing the fairy, who interacts with him in various ways reeling from his cigar smoke, building a bonfire that he extinguishes, etc.
The Airship Destroyer
An inventor uses a wireless controlled flying torpedo to destroy enemy airships.
The Lonely Villa
A gang of thieves lure a man out of his home so that they can rob it and threaten his wife and children. The family barricade themselves in an interior room, but the criminals are well-equipped for breaking in. When the father finds out what is happening, he must race against time to get back home.
The Mountaineer's Honor
A mountain girl is seduced by a traveler from the valley. Her brother tracks the seducer down and kills him. In retaliation, the sheriff captures the brother and prepares to lynch him. Mother intervenes and, to save her son the disgrace of hanging, shoots him.
Adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel.
1776, or The Hessian Renegades
During the American Revolution, a young soldier carrying a crucial message to General Washington is spotted and pursued by a group of enemy soldiers. He takes refuge with a civilian family, but is soon detected. The family and their neighbors must then make plans to see that the important message gets through after all.
A Drunkard's Reformation
A man arrives home late and drunk as usual. His wife reminds him that he's supposed to take their daughter out to a play. While watching the play, he's faced with his own drinking evils and how his life would be without them.
Edgar Allan Poe
As Poe's lover is slowly dying, he struggles to make money to care for her.
The Redman's View
An Indian village is forced to leave its land by white settlers, and must make a long and weary journey to find a new home. The settlers make one young Indian woman stay behind. This woman is thus separated from her sweetheart, whose elderly father needs his help on the journey ahead
Fools of Fate
Fanny is the wife of Ben Webster, a trapper, and while he is an affectionate and dutiful husband, she yearns for something which appears better than her lot. She reasons: "Have I not youth and beauty and attainments far above this environment? Why should I be compelled to toil and struggle in this wilderness?"
The Light That Came
A disfigured young woman with two beautiful sisters is courted by a blind man. Will he still love her when his sight is restored?
The Sealed Room
The Count sets out to make a private room for him and his Countess, built in such a way no one can see, hear, and most importantly, disturb them. But unbeknownst to the Count, his wife has set her eyes on the court minstrel. Based on Edgar Allan Poe's “The Cask of Amontillado” and Honoré de Balzac's “La Grande Breteche”.
The Cowboy Millionaire
Bud Noble, a handsome specimen of manhood, is foreman on the Circle "D" ranch outside of Circle City, Idaho, and our opening scene pictures Bud as the cowboy roping and tying a steer. With its bucking bronchos, pitching mustangs, bucking steers, and the biggest novelty ever, the acme of all thrillers, "see Bud bulldog a steer." Only three men have successfully accomplished this feat and lived to tell about it. Then Bud receives a shock. The local operator appears with a telegram. "Your Uncle John dead. You are sole heir to his estate valued at several millions. Come to Chicago at once." The astounded cowboys tumble over with sheer amazement. Bud buys and the scene closes with a characteristic rush for the bar.
A Trap for Santa Claus
Even the great D.W. Griffith made holiday films back in the day. Of course, he put his own spin on the genre and made something quite unique. In A TRAP FOR SANTA, the children attempt to capture the man-in-the-red-suit but they catch something else entirely.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The worlds first screen adaptation of a Shakespeare play.
Comment se fait le fromage de Hollande
Documentary about making cheese in the Netherlands.
The Golden Louis
An anonymous donor drops a gold coin in the shoe of a homeless girl as she sleeps. A gambler with a 'sure thing' borrows the coin and wins a fortune, but he can't find her again to repay her.
Nekhludoff, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for reducing her to crime. He sets out to redeem her and himself in the process.
The Star of Bethlehem
Nellie flees her old life and goes east to become a nurse, where she marries a doctor. One of her old colleagues finds her and tries to blackmail her. When the blackmail plot is exposed, Nellie's husband expresses his complete faith in her.
The Curtain Pole
An upper class drawing room. A gentleman breaks the curtain pole and goes in search of a replacement, but he stops into a pub first. He buys a very long pole, and causes havoc everywhere he passes, accumulating an ever-growing entourage chasing him, until he escapes them through a bit of movie magic, only to discover that the pole has already been replaced.
What Drink Did
A man leaves his wife and two daughters for work in a carpentry shop. At work, he initially refuses a beer with lunch, then gives in. After work, two friends take a little while to convince him to go for a refreshing malt beverage, then to have another and another....
Lady Helen's Escapade
A bored Lady Helen goes slumming as a domestic in a boarding house. There she falls in love with a sensitive young musician. The other women in the house are jealous, and accuse her of trying to steal the musician's violin. Lady Helen retreats to her own home, and arranges a position for the musician which allows them to be together.
The Voice of the Violin
A music teacher is in love with Helen, one of his students, but she rejects him. In his anger he joins a communist group who plan to blow up a rich capitalist's house. When he realizes it's Helen's house, he tries to stop the plan.
Tale of the Ark
A child dreams of the Bible tale, reenacted by toys.
The Joneses Have Amateur Theatricals
This is a very short and rare attempt at comedy by D. W. Griffith.
Her First Biscuits
A new bride has made a batch of biscuits. Her husband pretends to like them, so she delivers the rest to his office. But one bite of these biscuits makes you violently ill, and soon all his visitors (he runs a theatrical booking agency), plus the workmen at home, are ill; when she shows up at the office, they all go after her.
The Violin Maker of Cremona
A contest is being held in Cremona for the best violin, with Giannina's hand in marriage as the prize. Filippo is secretly in love with her, but is also ashamed of being a cripple, so he switches his superior violin with that of another apprentice, Sandro, whom Giannina loves.
Mrs. Kendrick borrows a jeweled necklace from a friend for an important social event. The necklace is stolen, and Mr. Kendrick goes into debt to replace it. The thief discovers it's costume jewelry, but the Kendricks never learns the truth; Husband and wife struggle for years to pay off the huge debt.
Henry and Marion have a lover's quarrel and part in anger. They do not reconcile, and ten years pass without contact. Marion becomes a society girl and spends her time at parties with her friends. Henry has become very ill and wishes to see Marion one more time. He writes asking her to visit. When she recieves the note, she laughs and tosses it on the floor, but, later, on a whim, decides to take all her drunken friends with her to visit him. When they arrive, Marion finds Henry dead, clutching her portrait in his hand. She sends her friends away and falls to her knees in remorse. Mary Pickford's debut!
The Cardinal's Conspiracy
A royal woman rejects her arranged marriage. The cardinal hatches a plan: the suitor will shave and change clothes. He arranges with 4 clowns to stage an attack on the princess which he easily repels. It works; the princess falls for him, especially when the cardinal arranges his arrest.
The Little Darling
This might be termed a comedy of errors, for the overzealousness of a lot of good-hearted simple folks places them in a rather embarrassing position. Lillie Green, who keeps a boarding house, receives a letter from her old school chum, Polly Brown, whom sin hasn't seen in years, to the effect that as Lillie has never seen her little darling daughter, she will send her for a few days' visit, asking that someone meet the child at the 3:40 train. Lillie's boarders are a bunch of kind-hearted bachelors, who at once prepare to give the "Little Darling" the time of her life, buying a load of toys, etc., for her amusement, also procuring a baby carriage with which to meet her at the train. You may imagine their embarrassment when they find that Tootsie, instead of being a baby, proves to be a handsome young lady of seventeen, whose tastes run rather to garden gates, shady lanes and quiet nooks, than toys. (Moving Picture World)
The Way of Man
A woman is scarred in an accident and refuses to stand in the way of her lover's marriage to another.
At the Altar
At the Italian boarding house the male boarders were all smitten with the charms of Minnie, the landlady's pretty daughter, but she was of a poetic turn of mind and her soul soared above plebeianism and her aspirations were romantic. Most persistent among her suitors was Grigo, a coarse Sicilian, whose advances were odiously repulsive. The arrival at the boarding house from the old country of Giuseppe Cassella, the violinist, filled the void in her yearning heart. Romantic, poetic and a talented musician, Giuseppe was indeed a desirable husband for Minnie.
The Mended Lute
In an Indian tribe, a girl escapes from her father and suitor to be with the man she loves.
Napoleon, the Man of Destiny
Part two of Blackton's "The Life of Napoleon". After Waterloo, Napoleon reminisces. His triumphs are seen in flashback. The film ends with the exiled Napoleon overlooking the beach of St. Helena.
The Gibson Goddess
A pack of admirers won't leave a beautiful woman alone at a seaside resort, so she devises a plan. She appears in a leg-revealing swimsuit, but the stockings have been stuffed with cotton to make her limbs appear misshapen. All but one of the men is driven off, and regret it when she removes the misleading leggings.
All the young men in the mining camp flirt with Lucy. Bud, the youngest of them, doesn't stand a chance. At a dance, Bud dresses as a woman and all the men flirt with him and abandon Lucy. When his disguise is revealed, the other men are too embarrassed to approach Lucy, and Bud dances the rest of the night with her.
The Lure of the Gown
"Fine feathers make fine birds", and handsome gowns make handsome women. Hence it is when Isabelle appears on the scene clad in a gown that is a masterpiece of the dressmaker's art she easily fascinates the male contingent, among whom is Enrico, the sweetheart of Veronica, a street singer. Enrico is so enraptured at the sight of Isabelle in her resplendent attire that he becomes her abject slave, casting aside the poor, peasant-clad little Italian street singer, who has loved him devotedly. Crushed almost beyond endurance the poor girl stands sobbing at the entrance of the park where the inconsistent lever left her. Her tears attract the attention of a wealthy young couple who happen to pass. In answer to their queries she tells them how contemptibly her sweetheart acted, and all because of the fascinating influence of a gown.
Through the Breakers
A society couple, neglect their young daughter in favor of their social life. When the girl becomes seriously ill, the father realizes the errors of his ways and stays home with her, demanding his wife do likewise. She sneaks out to a dance and the child takes a turn for the worse. By the time she returns home the child is dead. After her husband leaves her, the mother realizes her selfishness and begs forgiveness at her daughter's grave.
Harry's rich old bachelor uncle thinks Harry is still single. When Uncle announces a visit, Harry's wife has to play the part of the housekeeper so Uncle doesn't discover the truth.
The Politician's Love Story
A haughty politician, on seeing a satirical cartoon in a newspaper, rushes to the paper's offices to shoot the cartoonist. On discovering the cartoonist is a pretty woman, he falls instantly in love and wastes no time in trying to woo her.
The Broken Locket
George Peabody is a young man who has been giving free rein to his inclinations, the principal one being drink. One might have concluded he was lost, but there was the chance which the hand of Providence always bestows in the person of pretty little Ruth King, who had secretly loved George since their childhood days. She succeeds in persuading him from his reckless life, and he determines to cut off from his old loose companions by going out West and making a man of himself. Bidding Ruth and her mother good-bye, he realizes that he loves his little preserver and promises to return worthy of her love and confidence. They plight their troth with their first kiss and a heart shaped locket, which Ruth wears, she breaking it in two, giving George one side while she retains the other, which symbolized the reunion of their hearts with his return.
Gertrude chooses Jim over Jack, which makes Jack very jealous. Later Jim dies, and Jack marries Gertrude. He finds himself once again very jealous of the late Lucky Jim.
The Cord of Life
Antonine, a worthless, good-for-nothing scoundrel, demands money of his cousin Galora, an energetic, provident husband and father. His demands are met with a positive rebuff, and when he becomes insistent be is forcibly ejected by Galora. As he leaves the tenement he vows to get even, and lies in wait until Galora has gone out on business. Climbing to the fifth floor, on which the Galoras live, he watches his chance, which comes when Mrs. Galora goes for an instant to visit a neighbor on the same floor. Darting into the apartment and raising the window he perceives the awful result of a drop to the ground, five stories below, and so evolves a plan that is dastardly in the extreme. Taking the infant child from the cradle, and placing it in a basket he lets it out with a short rope, the end of which he secures by letting the sash down on it, so that to raise the window would precipitate the baby to destruction.