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An Unpaid Ransom
Description: A young man tries to rescue his fiancee from kidnappers. Produced by Thomas Alva Edison. Bessie Learn, Warren Cook, Augustus Phillips, Harry Paddock, Carlton King.Unable to go to the pier to meet his daughter, Helen, who is expected on the Brazilian from Europe, the Hon. John Dearborn dispatches his secretary to meet her. When he arrives at the pier, he is informed by the Randalls, who accompanied Helen on her trans-Atlantic voyage that a man with a Van Dyke beard, who represented himself as Mr. Dearborn's new secretary, had approached the party a few minutes before, introduced himself and departed with Helen. He appeared in a great hurry and said he would return later to attend to the baggage. The secretary returns to Mr. Dearborn, and as he is about to enter the house, a boy hands him a letter, sent by a gang of kidnappers. The letter states that the gang has Helen and will release her upon the payment of $10,000 by her father. After a consultation, it is deemed advisable not no inform Mr. Dearborn of the letter. The secretary immediately goes to Steven Banks, Helen's fiancé, and gives him the facts. Banks decides to find Helen unassisted if possible, and starts out by questioning the chauffeurs near the pier where the Brazilian docked. Eventually he finds Connelly, a frank, unsuspecting Irishman, who tells him that he had a passenger with a Van Dyke beard that morning. Connelly tells Banks that the stranger sent him into a store for cigars and when he came out the curtains of the car were down, the stranger complaining that the light hurt his eyes. Arriving at an address in Thirteenth Street the stranger directed Connelly to go upstairs for a trunk. After a futile search, Connelly returned to the sidewalk, and was told by the stranger that he had made a mistake, as an expressman took the trunk away that very morning. Then the stranger walked into the house and Connelly was dismissed. After listening to his story, Banks arranges with Connelly to change clothes. Disguised as a chauffeur, Banks goes to the Thirteenth Street address and goes up to the same floor as Connelly had in the morning under the pretext that he has lost a baggage check. As he is looking a man with a Van Dyke beard enters, and accuses him of being a spy. There is a fight, during which Banks fires several shots. The police enter just as Banks is being overpowered by the gang of kidnappers. Banks then breaks down the door of the room where Helen is a prisoner, and soon the girl is with her father, who is entirely ignorant of the attempt at blackmail.
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Clip #: SF-9B
Length: 14:40
Year: 1915
Color: B/W
Sound: Silent
Library: TFA Network
Decade: 1910s
Filmmaker: Thomas Edison
Region: North America
Country: United States
State: New York
City: New York
Subject: Crime
Original: 16mm
1910s, 1915, New York City, Thomas Alva Edison, silent film, kidnapping, kidnappers, fight

Adapted from the story “The Under Secretary” by Scott Campbell Augustus Phillips ... Chauffeur Detective Steven Banks Bessie Learn Bessie Learn ... Helen Carlton S. King Carlton S. King ... Jim Wilson

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