The Ex-Convict (film #19 on The Origins of Cinema, Volume One: The Films of Thomas Edison (Video Yesteryear, 1995)). [Category: Early Film & TV]

A sentimental tale, told in eight installments, of an ex-con who can't find a job but who is really a nice guy at heart, as evidenced by his selfless rescue of a little girl from being run over by a car. Finally, desperate to get some money to support his wife and sick little girl (tears jerked yet?), he resorts to burglary. By an incredible coincidence, he breaks into the house of the little girl he saved from being run down, and before the man of the house can shoot the ex-con, the little girl recognizes him as the man who saved her life. Virtue is rewarded, and the little girl's family shows up at the ex-con's house with money for the sick girl's medical treatment. This is the kind of silent melodrama that created the stereotypes of same. A 1904 Edison film.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

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