Best Movies of 1912
The Girl and Her Trust
A train-station telegraphist warns the next station of approaching bandits.
It's early autumn and Dr. Headley eagerly demonstrates what seems to be a miraculous cure for tuberculosis. Not far from where he is working, the disease seems preparing to soon claim yet another life, a teenage girl named Winifred. Winifred's mother and little sister Trixie are devastated. When Trixie hears the family doctor say of Winifred that "when the last leaf falls, she will have passed away," she interprets the doctor's words literally. Thinking over what she has heard, she determines to do everything possible to save her sister.
The Musketeers of Pig Alley
A man recognizes the thief who had previously robbed him as one of the men involved in an unrelated mob shootout.
How a Mosquito Operates
A hungry mosquito spots and follows a man on his way home. The mosquito slips into the room where the man is sleeping, and gets ready for a meal. His first attempts startle the man and wake him up, but the mosquito is very persistent.
A tragicomedy in which the suicide attempt of the character Bunny is seen by a neighbour, who quickly calls for help.
The Portrait of Lady Anne
The ghost of a selfish, inconsiderate woman must make up for her past transgressions by making sure that her descendant marries the man who is right for her.
A Lodging for the Night
Dick Logan, a young writer, stops at a little border town and takes lodging at the Mexican Inn. Two tramps see the amount of money he has and plan to steal it. In the town he befriends a Mexican girl by stopping her uncle from beating her for having broken a water jar. Retiring to his room, he is awakened by the two tramps breaking into his room. He steals out and gets lodging at a nearby house, which happens to be the home of the Mexican girl and her uncle. The tramps follow him and try again. The girl, however, saves him from harm, and it looks as if Dick had found a real heroine for a real romance.
On his way to file a claim, a lone prospector stops overnight with a settler and his family. The miner little suspects that his host plots to steal the gold. But the settler’s daughter overhears the plan and warns the visitor just in time. The couple escapes with the woman’s younger sister. In store-bought finery suggesting new wealth, they return to the scene of the attempted crime and make peace with the settler. “We’ll work the mine together,” promises the prospector.
The Land Beyond the Sunset
A poor young boy goes on a field trip and dreams of escaping to a land beyond the sunset.
At Coney Island
Mack takes Mabel to Coney Island, only to have her stolen by slick Ford, who is temporarily out of sight of a watchful wife and children.
Set in a tenement, a lonely confirmed bachelor occupies a room across the hall from a dour spinster. Children run amok in the hallways playing pranks on the two. A little girl from the floor above, now alone in the world, brings the pair together and brightens their lives.
The Girl in the Arm-Chair
Peggy Wilson has recently become an orphan and a ward of the Waston family. She’s also inherited the late Robert Wilson’s vast fortune, which puts her very much in Mr. Waston’s favor. He would like his son, Frank, to marry Peggy, but Peggy “is not his style” and “her money is no inducement”.
With The Old Curiosity Shop and David Copperfield, both released in 1911, and Nicholas Nickleby in 1912, Thanhouser established itself as producer of the best Dickens adaptations in American film.
The story of the massacre of an Indian village, and the ensuing retaliation.
A Voice from the Deep
Percy and Harold are rivals and both take the object of their affections for an outing.
So Near, Yet So Far
It's love at first sight for the Boy, but obstacles-- namely shyness, and the temerity of other suitors-- place themselves in the way of his love. Unknowingly, the Boy and the young woman of his fancy both stay at the home of mutual friends-- But all is not well, as robbers lurk outside the house.
An Unseen Enemy
The physician's death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor's small estate to cash. But it is late in the day, and with the banks closed he stores the money in his father's household safe. The slatternly housekeeper, aware of the money, enlists a criminal acquaintance to crack the safe. She attempts to get into the adjacent room where the sisters tremble in fear, but finds that the door is locked. The drunken housekeeper menaces them by brandishing a gun through a hole in the wall.
Several married couples go on a camp-out together, but the women soon realize that the men expect them to do all the dirty work.
One Is Business, the Other Crime
Griffith intercuts between the lives of two couples married on the same day. One couple is rich, the other poor. Time passes, and in desperation over joblessness, the poor husband attempts to burgle a home, only to be captured at gunpoint by the mistress of the house. It is the home of the rich couple. While holding the poor intruder at gunpoint, the rich wife accidentally discovers evidence implicating her own husband in a bribery scheme.
The Confederate Ironclad
During the US civil war, Elinor, a pretty northern girl, comes south to visit her aunt. Little does anyone know, but she's a spy. Lt. Yancey, who's close to being engaged to the fetching and resourceful Rose, is gallant enough to show the Yankee guest around, including a walk down a hidden creek where a gunboat is built and awaits powder. Elinor sends this intelligence north, and the Blue Coats attack.
The Sands of Dee
A young girl who lives by the sea with her parents, is the object of one fellows affection. One day she meets a wily artist painting on the beach, he seduces the young girl and gives her a ring, with the promise of marriage. When the young admiring fellow comes to propose, she proudly announces her engagement to the artist. Shocked he leaves and her parents demand meeting her husband to be. She goes to bring him home, and finds he already has a sophisticated fiancée. Distraught she hurries home, and when her father realizes what she has done, he orders her out of the house. As she wanders despondent along the sea, the young fellow who has found out about her betrayal, immediately goes to see her. Finding she has been disowned by her father, he goes looking for her...
The New York Hat
To fulfill a dying mother's bequest for her daughter, the town pastor purchases the daughter a stylish hat, and gossip spreads through the town.
The Mender of Nets
A young woman who works mending fishermen's nets is engaged to be married. But her fiancé has an old love who refuses to let him go. Further, his former girlfriend has a brother who is willing to use violence to protect his sister's honor.
The Totville Eye
A printer and his young assistant take over a local newspaper while the editor is away.
A Tragedy of the Cornish Coast
An artist and sailors save a fishergirl from abduction.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.
A Christmas Accident
Well-to-do Mr. and Mrs. Gilton live next door to a large family that struggles to make ends meet. Despite their desire to be friendly, Mr. Gilton is frequently irritated by his neighbors, insisting that they stay out of his yard, and blaming them for anything that goes wrong. During the holiday season, the differences between the two families become even clearer. Mrs. Gilton wants to do something to help their neighbors, but Mr. Gilton will take a lot of convincing.
Thirty Days at Hard Labor
Jack must prove himself before Beatrice's father will allow him to continue seeing his daughter.
For His Son
A father, anxious for his son's financial well being, develops a special soda pop called Dopokoke which is laced with cocaine. Dopokoke is advertised as relief "for that tired feeling." The drink is a success, but the son becomes addicted to it, much to his father's regret. Loosely based on the allegations that the Coca-Cola company and other soft drink manufacturers laced their soda with dope.
The Professor will not allow his daughter to marry a non-musician, but Billy, her would-be suitor, cannot play a single note. When he is about to give up, Billy’s roommate suggests bluffing his way into the Professor’s favor with the aid of a suitably musical disguise and a well-hidden phonograph player.
A random passer-by is invited to a bachelor party of rich men where he tells a tale of loss to those present.
A short western about a cowardly sheriff who leaves it up to his wife to catch a murderer, and then takes the credit himself.
The U.S. Army and the Indians sign a peace treaty. However, a group of surveyors trespass on the Indians' land and violate the treaty. The army refuses to listen to the Indians' complaints, and the surveyors are killed by the Indians. A vicious Indian war ensues, culminating in an Indian attack on an army fort.
The Painted Lady
A lonely young woman lives with her strict father who forbids her to wear make-up. One day at an ice cream social, she meets a young man you seems interested in her. However, unknown to her, he is a burglar who is only interested in breaking into her father's house. One night she is awakened by a noise.
The Heart of an Indian
When Indians attack a white settlement, a brave kidnaps a white baby to give to his wife as a replacement for their dead baby. The white mother goes to the Indian camp to look for her child and is captured by the Indians who plan to torture her. The settlers attack the Indian camp, destroying it completely and killing the braves, while the Indian wife returns the baby to the white woman and allows her to escape. The Indian wife mourns her baby at its grave, unaware of the destruction of the Indian camp.
Frozen on Love's Trail
A white girl, living with her father at the barracks near an Indian reservation, is very kind to a half-breed Indian. He falls in love with her but she does not encourage him. However, she one day is about to accept a trinket from him, when one of the soldiers, who is also in love with her, intimates something that does not sound nice to a good girl's ears.
The Burglar’s Dilemma
In this latter day Cain and Abel story, a jealous brother strikes down his sibling just as a young burglar is about to enter the house. The jealous brother summons police, who then charge the intruder with murder.
The orphan Dora is courted by two different gold miners.
His Official Appointment
This touching short film lasts only 10 minutes, 34 seconds, but is rather engaging. Charles Kent is an old man, who has spent all he owns on influencing a government appointment. His faithful black servant, Amber (Hal Wilson), cares for him as he waits to hear from the Capitol. No one there intends to do anything but make fun of him, even sending a false appointment, to his shame.
Veteran Warner and old gardener Burns vie for the hand of Widow Simpson, and the gardener steals the former's uniform and joins in the ranks of a parade, pursued by his rival. Utilizes footage shot during a Thomas Ince battle production at Inceville, the Grand Army of the Republic parade in downtown Los Angeles which commenced at 9:30am PST on September 11, 1912 (including starting area at 5th and Los Angeles and viewing stands near finish by Courthouse at Broadway and Temple), and other G.A.R. festivities at the National Soldiers' Home at Sawtelle in Los Angeles.
At the End of the Trail
A short Western about the tragic romance between a sheriff and the daughter of a horse thief.
Star of Bethlehem
Following a bright wandering star, three magi from the East travel to Bethlehem of Judea to meet a very special newborn baby. Meanwhile, King Herod, driven by a hideous prophecy, orders him to be found and murdered.
The Lesser Evil
A young woman's peaceful existence is shattered when she is abducted by the crew of a boat of smugglers, who then also turn against their captain.
From the Manger to the Cross
The life of Jesus is played out in tableaux shot in the Holy Land.
Max Sets the Fashion
Max, awakening on his wedding morning, discovers that it is close on the hour when he should be at the church. He dresses hastily, and in struggling with a refractory collar, allows his boots to be burnt by the fire. There is no time to change them, and he hastens off to the bride's house. On the way his soles part company with their uppers, and poor Max enters into negotiations with a passing labourer for the purchase of his footgear.
The Picture Idol
A short comedy about a girl (played by Clara Kimball Young) who is in love with a movie star (Maurice Costello) and who follows him everywhere. Her parents want to teach her ??a lesson, and invite the actor to their home.
Cinderella or The Glass Slipper
Georges Méliès's first attempt at Cinderella was in 1899. That film was extraordinary then for having multiple scenes and a semblance of a narrative; additionally, the use of dissolves as transitions in it influenced other filmmakers for years to do the same. Méliès was the cinema world's preeminent leader then. By 1912, however, that was no longer the case; frankly, as evidenced by this feature, his style had become dated. Moreover, Méliès had begun to adopt techniques from other filmmakers, such as direct cuts instead of dissolves, and there's even a match on action shot during the slipper trying-on scene.
Mrs. 'Enry 'Awkins
Noah Clayton, an old coster, who has made a bit of money, lives with his daughter Liza. He is very cranky and very gouty. Henry Hawkins, a young coster, and Bill Brown, a teacher of boxing, and an ex-pugilist, are both in love with Liza. Old Clayton favors Bill, because he is well off. Liza likes Henry, and they meet down near the old church and do their love-making. Bill lays siege to Liza, offering her presents, which she refuses. At last he offers to take her to a music hall and she yields and goes with him. There they are seen by Hawkins, who becomes furiously jealous and upbraids Liza. She loses her temper and claims the right to do as she likes. Henry on this swears he will fight Bill, and Liza tells him not to be a fool, that Bill could lick him with one hand, and they part in anger. Hawkins meets Bill and challenges him. The result is a foregone conclusion. Poor Hawkins is knocked out and laid up in bed for repairs, tended by his landlady.
A Beast at Bay
Mary Pickford as "The Young Woman", is quite taken with Edwin August; in fact, he is her "ideal". But Mr. August's refusal to get mixed up in a street brawl makes him look like a coward to Ms. Pickford. Meanwhile, convict Alfred Paget has escaped from prison; and, he is "A Beast at Bay". While Pickford and August go for a ride in her automobile, criminal Paget ambushes one of his guards, taking the man's clothing and gun. Pickford drops off August, still arguing he is a coward, and drives off. Alone, Pickford gets out of her car to retrieve a fallen garment; then, on-the-lam Paget moves in to carjack her. From a distance, August witnesses Pickford being taken at gunpoint - can he save his girl, and prove he's not a coward?
The Heart of the King's Jester
A short drama directed by William Humphrey.