Waiter No. 5 [Waiter Number 5] (1910)

Film Index, November 5, 1910 synopsis of the Biograph film WAITER, NO. 5

"WAITER NO. 5." - "For ye have the poor always with you." Matt. 26, ii. Because of this we are reminded of the Corporal Works of Mercy - feed the hungry, clothe the naked, harbor the harborless - which acts always bring reward. Still there may be occasions when that reward comes tardily, but there is logical reason for the delay, for in the end our reward is more complete.  The wife of the Russian Chief of Police being a woman possessed of a noble heart is much touched by the tales carried to her of the tyrannical oppression bestowed upon the poor. After some persuasion on the part of a Russian artist socialist, she makes a round among the poor of the city and the sight that greets her almost freezes the blood in her veins. She sees them buddle like cattle, more dead than alive, slowly but surely dying for want of nourishment. So moved is she with the truth, that she becomes an ardent sympathizer and consents to become a member of the secret society to oppose the government in its present treatment of the poor. The meetings of this society are held in the artist's studio, a fact the police have long suspected. On the night of the admission of the wife as a member, a raid is planned by the police, and you can imagine the Chief's amazement as he enters to find his wife just taking the oath of allegiance. What a shock.  At first he is at a loss to know what best to do. Finally dismissing his men with their captives, he, alone, with her, asks what it means. She tells him in a word, and he, realizing her fate will be death, determines to join her in an effort to fly from Russia. Disguising themselves as peasants, they succeed in evanind interception and arrive safely in America. In this country he finds it impossible to obtain congenial employment, and is forced to accept a position as waiter in a swell restaurant, which he keeps secret from all but his wife. Being a gentleman born, he is successful, and when his American born son is old enough, he is able to send him to college. Later when the boy returns home from college,, hs is apprised of the engagement between the son and the sister of the nature of his father's employment, and is warned not to marry for the present at lease, for father intending to resign the waiter position as soon as possible. The young folks refuse to wait, and elope. After their marriage they receive the blessings of the girl's parents but the boy's parents are not to be located, so the party goes out to have a little wedding dinner, selecting, by singular coincidence the restaurant at which the father is employed. Amazement and embarrassment seize the entire party, and the father then tells his son why he asked him not to marry. The excitement attending this unexpected meeting arouses the notice of other occupants of the dining room, and one of the number approaches, recognizing the waiter. This man proves to be the Russian's old friend, who, after a tireless search is now given the opportunity of bestowing upon his former Chief the Czar's pardon, which restores his social standing. So culminated his troubles.

Film Index, November 5, 1910 ad for the Biograph film WAITER, NO. 5


A Story of Russian Despotism

There is never an occasion where any of the corporeal works of mercy go unrewarded. The reward may be long delayed, but it is inevitable. The wife of the Russian Chief of Police becomes an ardent sympathizer with the oppressed poor, and at a meeting of socialists she is surprised by her husband, who leads a raid. Realizing that her fate will be death, he joins her in a flight from the country. Coming to America, he suffers many hardships, accepting a position as a waiter that his son may be educated. The son, not knowing his father's occupation, elopes and marries a very worthy young lady, and through a trick of fate goes to the restaurant at which his father is employed. The scene induced arouses the notice of another patron, who proves to be his old-time friend, in America for the purpose of bestowing upon the former chief the Czar's pardon, which restores his social standing.

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11 East 14th Street
New York City

From The Film Index, November 5, 1910, pages 14 and 22

with George Nichols, Claire McDowell, Charles West and Mary Pickford. Directed by D. W. Griffith. Biograph / General Film.

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Public Domain Mark
This work (Waiter No. 5 (1910), by Biograph), identified by Bruce Calvert, is free of known copyright restrictions.



Last Modified May 23, 2012.