THE MILLIONAIRE PAUPERS

Released 10/26/15 by Universal/Rex; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: Ida May Park; 3 reels; Print Source: Private Collection

CAST: Grace Thompson (Enid Burne-Smith), Gretchen Lederer (Mrs. Burne-Smith), Arthur Shirley (Allen Winthrop), Miss Wilmer (Mrs. Winthrop), Marcia Moore (Mabel), Millard K. Wilson (George), Lon Chaney (Albert Martin)

SYNOPSIS: Mrs. Burne-Smith hopes to marry her daughter Enid to wealthy Allen Winthrop as a way to pay off her debts. She and Mrs. Winthrop agree to the marriage, even though Allen and Enid have never met. Enid refuses to meet her arranged suitor and escapes to a tenement house where she takes a room. Allen has received an anonymous letter stating that the agent who is in charge of one of his tenements, Albert Martin, is a crook. He disguises himself and takes a room in his own tenement, which turns out to be the same house where Enid is staying. Enid meets Allen and the two are mutually attracted. Enid has befriended Mabel, and her sweetheart George. George is unhappy with all the attentions Martin has been giving Mabel. Mabel confides to Enid that she is deeply in debt to the landlord because she coaxed him into putting off the rent collection so that she could buy some new dresses. Enid pawns her last piece of jewelry to get money to pay off Martin, but Enid refuses the money. Martin comes to the girl's room, demands the money, and they begin to argue. Allen and George come to the room and Mabel has Martin hide in the closet. When the men enter, Martin appears and says he bought the dresses for Mabel. Enid, trying to save her friend's romance, says that the dresses are hers. George and Mabel are reunited, but Allen leaves Enid in disappointment. Allen dismisses Martin, and places George in charge of the tenement, while Enid returns home to her mother. Allen tries in vain to find some trace of Enid. He and his mother are invited to the Burne-Smiths for dinner, and he and Enid are happily reunited, their true identities revealed.

"For the most part, this is a delightful picture. The story by Ida May Park has received excellent interpretation and realistic atmosphere. Each member of the cast deserves praise." -- -Motion Picture News

NOTES: An ad for the film lists Olive Fuller Golden among the cast, but no other sources confirm this. Considering that she was a major star by this time, and that all the major characters can be accounted for, it seems unlikely that she appeared in the film. Universal may have been trying to sell the picture by associating her with it in advance publicity. A brief fragment of the film was discovered in the early 1990's and exists in private collections.


© 1996,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis


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