Movie 16min

The Way of the World (1910)

A Lesson in Christian Charity.
Not rated.

Director D.W. Griffith
Country United States
Language English
Bell Black and White Catholic Church Charity Church Clergy Drama Grace Humanity Money Morality Pleasure Priest Prostitute Short Silent Film

The old priest is deeply grieved over the empty church, when his young assistant decides to follow the Master's footsteps and go among the people as an example. Donning civilian garb, he goes out into the world to work in the fields. Here he learns the extreme thoughtlessness and selfishness of humanity. There are the two classes, the money seekers and the pleasure seekers. The former are shown in the fields and store houses, each struggling for himself unmindful of the condition of his neighbor, all driven by an unreasonable employer. The latter class is seen spending their time in a dance resort. The first have a standard of morals dependent upon their success in life, while the others have no standard of morals whatever, for the simple reason that they know no better. The young priest, incog, becomes a worker at the storehouse, dispensing his earnings in charity, while endeavoring to plant the seed of righteousness in the hearts of his fellow laborers, but his endeavors are met with derision. He is almost on the point of giving up when the dance resort is raided by the police and the women of the place flee in a panic, with the exception of one, who turns to the ones who brought her there for protection. Ah, but how like the world, they not only turn from her, but even assist in her ejection from the place and follow her tauntingly down the road, their crowd augmented by many curiosity seekers until there is a howling mob at her heels. At this moment the young priest appears and driving off her persecutors, leads the poor unfortunate Magdalene away to find some place of healthy safety for her, but again the world shows its unchristian spirit by refusing to receive her. Hopeless, the young priest makes his way back to the mission where he tells the old pastor that "They receive me not." He has hardly uttered the words when the girl appears and prostrates herself before the two holy men to ask their prayers for God's grace, determined to spend the rest of her life penitentially. The old father turns to the young curate and exclaims, "Not in vain if one soul is save." The scenes of the production are laid at the historical San Gabriel Mission, California.

Source: Moving Picture World

The film begins with a silhouette of the San Gabriel Mission bells. The photographer opened the diaphragm of his lens until the exposure of the interior equaled that of the exterior, and a lay priest is seen tolling the bell. A newly ordained young priest goes out in the world and works hard with laborers in the field, who only mock him. A young woman is set upon by the people of the town because they consider her a bad influence, and the young priest befriends her. To his dismay, he finds that people he has helped turn against him, and he takes her back to the mission to seek the advice of the old father. The woman of the streets is converted, and the last scene shows her embracing religion.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress

Similar movies
Miracle of a Necklace
Miracle of a Necklace
Miracle of a Necklace (1909)
1909 11min
Conscience de Prêtre
Conscience de Prêtre
Conscience de Prêtre (1906)
1906 5min
The Prodigal Son
The Prodigal Son
The Prodigal Son (1910)
Old Isaacs, the Pawnbroker
Old Isaacs, the Pawnbroker
Old Isaacs, the Pawnbroker (1908)
1908 10min
San Jorge, Salida de misa
San Jorge, Salida de misa
San Jorge, Salida de misa (1897)
The Beggar's Repentance
The Beggar's Repentance
The Beggar's Repentance (1909)
1909 8min
Henry B. Walthall - The Young Priest
George Nichols - The Old Priest
Florence Barker - The Modern Magdalene
Gertrude Claire - The Landlady
Linda Arvidson - At Dance
Dorothy West - The Young Girl
W. Chrystie Miller - The Bell Ringer
Dorothy Bernard -
Charles Craig - At Dance
Gladys Egan - A Child
Francis J. Grandon - A Farmer/A Hayer
G.W. Bitzer - Cinematography
Stanner E.V. Taylor - Writer
D.W. Griffith - Director
Show all