The Trunk Mystery (Great Northern)
Happy fake 100th birthday to The Trunk Mystery.
Although the BFI lists The Trunk Mystery as a 1910 film, its U.S. release was indeed 100 years ago today. [I take these “birthdays” from sources like from IMDB, AFI and the contemporary American trade press, so release dates refer to U.S. release dates]
Synopsis of The Trunk Mystery, published in The Moving Picture World 8, no. 3 (21 January 1911): 152.
The Count Telemarch receives intimation of his brother’s death in London leaving him a legacy of 50,000 pounds. The Count is asked to go personally to receive it, taking with him letters of identification. His servant accompanies him and when on board ship he drugs his master, places him in a trunk in the cabin, and secures the legacy. He keeps the Count bound in the trunk but gives him sufficient food to keep him a live. The Countess has a vision of her husband being ill-used and forced into the trunk by the servant. She visits a detective and tells him of her vision. He takes up the case, and traces the false Count to his hotel, follows him on board ship and by a ruse obtains access to the cabin. The detective finds the imprisoned Count, and gets into the trunk himself. The villain drags the trunk to the side of the vessel, and is just pushing It Into the sea, when the detective jumps out, arrests the swindler, and restores to the real Count his inheritance.
In contrast to yesterday’s film, this film strikes me as decidedly un-modern. In the age of cameras, no one would have dared pull the shenanigans that Count Telemarch’s servant tried here.