The Smouldering Spark

Release Date:   4/29/1914
Distributor:   Mutual
Reels:   1
Brand:   Flying A
Genre:   Social Drama
Director:   William Taylor
Writer:   Joseph Poland
Confirmed Cast:   William Bertram, Edward Coxen, William Eason, George Field, Kathie Fischer
Story Summary:

"A spark of manhood smoulders in them all," so Frederick Miller declares, looking from the luxurious club's window at the unfortunates on the nearby park benches. The other club men scoff, and Miller wagers Duncan that, given a chance, one of those human wrecks will redeem himself. Miller selects Jack Martin, a derelict on life's sea, and gives him a position as butler in his home. Jack's attitude at first is antagonistic, but he begins to change through the kindliness of Miller, his wife, and son Tom, and particularly sweet little Ellen, Miller's seven-year-old daughter.

Tom Miller, through bad association, falls into debt, and Miller angrily refuses him money. Tom rifles his father's safe. Jack sees this and wishing to shield the boy and fearing that shock of the truth would be too great for Miller, he assumes the blame when the theft is discovered. Miller, believing Jack hopeless, sadly dismisses him. A little later Jack finds once more a derelict. As he pauses irresolutely before a saloon, he sees Tom within, drinking with some friends. A brawl starts, in which Tom is hurt. Jack enters, saves Tom from further harm and takes him home. Tom, remorseful, confesses the theft of the money, clearing Jack. Jack is warmlythanked by Miller, and once more welcome in heir home. Miller writes to Duncan saying, "I win the wager. Our derelict not only possessed the smouldering spark, but he has made a man of my son as well."

- The Moving Picture World, April 25, 1914

Unique Occurrences:

Title was changed for British release to "Manhood's Spark."

- A wager between two club men results in a social outcast being made a man-servant. The man repays the kindness by taking the blame of a robbery by the son. The latter's confession clears the butler, who is reinstated and forms a testimony to the truth of an old adage.

- The Bioscope July 9, 1914

William Desmond Taylor cited as director in International Film Index, p. 768. Yet to be confirmed.


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