Traffic in Souls (1913)
TRAFFIC IN SOULS
Universal Film Manufacturing Company
A PHOTO DRAMA IN SIX PARTS
A powerful, dramatic, full-blooded sermon, in which human emotions and adventures blend stirringly. Based on actual reports of the Rockefeller Investigating Committee and District Attorney Whitmen's Report for the suppression of White Slavery.
700 SCENES 600 PEOPLE
Thursday, May 7th
TRAFFIC IN SOULS
Written by WALTER MACNAMARA
Supported by an enormous cast of supernumeraries, including police officers, underworld types, society men and women, and the largest mob scene ever produced on the screen.
Time: The Present
Of all crimes the worst is the White Slave Traffic. The agents of this traffic have gone about their deadly work, so that nowhere are our daughters and sisters safe.
The story opens on a peaceful morning in New York. Jane Baring (Miss Jane Gail) is ready to go to her employment at Schulmayer's Candy Store, where she works with her sister Lorna (Miss Ethel Grandin). Lorna is a good, loving girl.
Jane's sweetheart is Officer 4434, (Mr. Matt Moore) who is keeping an active watch over all suspicious houses on his beat.
We next see the home of William Trubus, philanthropist and reformer, who is head of the Citizen's League to Fight the System. His daughter Flora (Miss Irene Wallace) is engaged to "Bobby" Gresham, a rich society man. Our story now moves rapidly, showing the System in all its ramifications. We see the cadets at their work at railroad depot and immigrant ship. We see the money daily being poured into their coffers. Officer 4434 sees two poor immigrant girls lured into a house on his beat and his suspicions are aroused.
He determines to make inquiries. The manager of the place tries to bribe him and the bullies of the house set on him, but he fights them single handed. He whips out his gun and covers all the bullies, releases the girls and puts the whole of the gang under arrest. One the same day Jane's little sister, Lorna, has been marked out as one of the gang's victims. Bill Bradshaw (Mr. William Cavanaugh), a well dressed scoundrel, has already turned her head with flattering tales of her beauty. He has invited her to dinner and she decides to go.
Jane tells Officer 4434 of her fears and they decide to watch Lorna. Jane begs Officer 4434 to find her little sister. Lorna and Bradshaw go to a fashionable restaurant. Bradshaw than (sic) takes her to a dance hall. While she dances with one of Bradshow's (sic) accomplices he arranges with another to have a taxi to take her away. He then puts some powder into her lemonade. Lorna returns with her partner. Bradshaw hands her the lemonade which she drinks. Shortly after, she feels drowsy, and Bradshaw offers to take her home. The taxi pulls up at a house and he and the chauffeur, another accomplice, carry her inside. She is put into a room, the door locked, and she is left alone. In the meanwhile, her sister Jane is keeping her lonely vigil, fearing the worst. She tells her fears to her father. Officer 4434 is searching the city for some clue to Lorna. At daylight Lorna wakes up and finds to her horror that she is a prisoner in a room with iron barred windows. She screams for help, but is met with the cynical laughter of the inhuman monster of a woman, who runs the place.
We return to Mr. Trubus, the reformer, follow him to his office which is a floor above the secret meeting place, where the denizens of the half-world pay their tribute to the System. Here by the aid of a dictagraph he hears all that is going on underneath. His wife comes with him to the office and has the switchboard girl discharged, and Mrs. Trubus gets Jane the position. Jane is called into Mr. Trubus' office. He tells Jane to wipe up some ink he has spilt. He leaves her alone and she finds the receiver off the dictagraph, which out of curiosity, she puts to her ear. She is astounded when she hears the voice of the man who stole her sister away. She traces the wire to the window and follows it down to the fire-escape to the next floor. She sees Bradshaw receiving money from her employer's secretary. Jane then realizes that Trubus, the so-called reformer, is none other than the head of the Vice-Trust. She then puts Officer 4434 on the trail of Bradshaw. They place her father's sound intensifier into Trubus' private office and connect it with a dictophone, which they hide in Jane's waste paper basket.
In the meanwhile little sister Lorna has bravely resisted all her captors efforts with indomitable spirit. The next day Officer 4434 locates Bradshaw, and tells his chief he is almost sure he has found Lorna. The chief decides to raid the house that night. Janes has secures the necessary evidence in the phonographic records of the dictophone and has deposited them with the chief.
That night Trubus is arrested at a receiption he has given to celebrate his daughter's engagement to "Bobby" Gresham. His guests desert him, Gresham throws over Flora. Trubus' secretary and the books are also seized. Bradshaw is about to beat Lorna with a whip when the house is attacked on all sides by the police. They break into the house and Bradshaw fires at Officer 4434. The bullet smashes the water pitcher in his hands. Then follows a terrible fight between Bradshaw and Officer 4434. Bradshaw, with a bullet through his brain, falls from the house top to the ground below. Trubus and the whole gang are lodged behind prison bars, waiting for Justice to decree their fate.
UNIVERSAL MOVING PICTURES
with Matt Moore, Ethel Grandin and Jane Gail. Directed by George Loane Tucker. Universal.
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Last Modified May 11, 2012.