A Child's Prayer; Or, The Good Samaritan (1908)
(Alternative) A child's prayer, or, The good Samaritan
In a miserably furnished garret room a poor woman lies sick abed. The children cluster around, clinging to her. One older than the rest takes some matches and goes out to sell them. On the street the child tries to dispose of her wares, but the people pass her by unnoticed. Completely discouraged, the little girl sinks exhausted on a doorstep. While offering up a prayer for assistance, the door opens and a rich lady and gentleman hear the pitiful supplication. They listen, step back, look pityingly at the child, and as her prayer is finished she goes her way, the couple follow. The child, unconscious of being trailed, returns home, drops her matches, kneels beside the bedside and sobs. The mother tries to comfort her child, when the door opens and the lady and her husband look inside and quickly depart. At a grocery store the couple purchases great quantities of provisions, and, with the clerk loaded down, start for the destitute home. The mother and girl are trying to comfort one another as the benevolent people enter and spread the good things on the table. After leaving money for further needs, the benefactors kiss the little child and depart.
Source: Moving Picture World
This reminded me a lot of a few earlier Christmas films. A poor girl prays for help for the family and gets it. It's beautiful, although in the surviving 23 seconds(that contain most of the scenes it seems) you really only get a feeling of the movie, and the narrative, not the whole experience. As a simple subject, one can see how much the movie genre developed in just a few years. I found this one well made.