Faust (1909) Drama, Short · 24 December 1909
Faust, an aged philosopher and magician who has grown weary of life and has sought in vain for the secret of eternal youth, decides, after a night's long vigil, to call forth from the realms of darkness the evil one to aid him. Mephistopheles appears and offers him his services in return for Faust's soul. The aged philosopher refuses to accept until the devil shows him a vision of Marguerite in all her maiden simplicity and beauty. Faust agrees to accept the compact providing Mephistopheles will give him youth, wealth and love. This the devil agrees to do. The bond is signed; the devil gives him a powerful drink which transforms the aged man into a dashing young cavalier, and forth they go into the world to seek the pleasures of life, but which, under the evil spell, turn to wormwood and gall. Faust meets Marguerite coming from church and offers to escort her home, but with maidenly modesty she declines. He is fired with love and enamored of her beauty, and the devil offers a plan to win her love. Stealing into her garden, a jewel casket is left filled with "pearls, rubies and diamonds rare." Marguerite finds the casket and cannot forbear to adorn herself with the jewels. It is while she is thus occupied that a neighbor, Dame Martha, discovers her. Shortly afterwards Faust and Mephistopheles appear, and here follows the winning of Marguerite's love in the rose garden. Night draws its mystic veil around them while the mocking demon gloats over his victims. We next see Marguerite betrayed and deserted. She falls pleading at the shrine of the Virgin for forgiveness, but is even denied this solace by the presence of the devil, Valentine, Marguerite's brother, returns from the war and learns of his sister's betrayal. He seeks out Faust and engages him in a duel. By Mephistopheles' aid Valentine is stabbed. Dying, he curses Marguerite and ends his life as a soldier and a man. Marguerite's reason has been shaken by her grief and sorrow. She kills her child and is cast into prison, where Mephistopheles brings Faust in order that he may fly with Marguerite, hut she, poor thing, does not comprehend. She understands only her great love for him, and, her mind possessed by that one thought, she plucks once again the daisy of love, counting each imaginary petal as it falls. Faust in his agony begs for her forgiveness. Her dying reply, "Forgiveness! Faust, I love thee," tells the whole story, as from his arms she sinks away into eternity. Mephistopheles pronounces her damned, but the angels of heaven appear and proclaim her saved; while Faust sinks into eternal damnation, writhing under the scorn and mockery of the devil, who now claims him for his own. - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis
Director(s): Edwin S. Porter Cast: William Sorelle
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