The Fatal Hour (1908) 14min · Short, Crime · 18 August 1908
Pong Lee, a Mephistophelian, saffron-skinned varlet, has for some time carried on this atrocious female white slave traffic, in which sinister business he was assisted by a stygian whelp, by name Hendricks. Pong writes Hendricks that he has need for five young girls, and so Hendricks sets out to secure them. Visiting a rural district, he has no trouble, by his glib, affable manner, in gaining the confidence of several young and pretty girls. Pong is on hand with a closed carriage to bag the prey. One of the girls, as she is seized, emits a yell that alarms the neighborhood and brings to the scene several policemen and a couple of detectives, who have long been on the lookout for these caitiffs. The Chinese get away with the carriage, however, and Hendricks by subterfuge throws the police on the wrong scent. One of the detectives is a woman, and possessed of shrewd powers of deduction, hence does not swallow the bald story of the villain, and exercises her natural acumen with success. She shadows Hendricks, and by means of a flirtation inveigles him to a restaurant, where she succeeds in doping his drink. He falls asleep and she secures the letter written by Pong, which discloses the hiding place of the Chinaman. This she immediately telephones to the police, and while so doing Hendricks awakes and starts off to warn his friends. He arrives at the old deserted house ahead of the police, but escape is impossible, so the police rescue the girls, but fail to secure Pong and Hendricks, who afterwards seize the girl detective, and taking her to the house, tie her to a post and arrange a large pistol on the face of a clock in such a way that when the hands point to twelve the gun is fired and the girl will receive the charge. Twenty minutes are allowed for them to get away, for the hands are now indicating 11:40. Certain death seems to be her fate, and would have been had not an accident disclosed her plight. Hendricks after leaving the place is thrown by a street car, and this serves to discover his identity, so he is captured and a wild ride is made to the house in which the poor girl is incarcerated. This incident is shown in alternate scenes. There is the helpless girl, with the clock ticking its way towards her destruction, and out on the road is the carriage, tearing along at breakneck speed to the rescue, arriving just in time to get her safely out of range of the pistol as it goes off. In conclusion we can promise this to be an exceedingly thrilling film, of more than ordinary interest. - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis
Director(s): D.W. Griffith Cast: George Gebhardt, Harry Solter, Linda Arvidson
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