D.W. Griffith Shorts - A Trap for Santa Claus 1909

Arthur Rogers had been in the worst of luck for some time. Honest and industrious by nature, he was in the depths of despair at the sight of the misery his little family of a wife and two small children were subjected to. They were, in fact, on the verge of starvation. With crushed spirit, he seeks solace in drink, and in a drunken condition feels his wife would be better off without him, so he leaves. Immediately after his departure a lawyer calls to apprise Mrs. Rogers that her aunt’s estate, long in litigation, has been settled, leaving her a moderate fortune. This indeed is pleasant news, but if it had only come before her husband’s rash act. However, they remove to new quarters, and the children, at least, are happy. It is the night before Christmas, and they are ready for bed. They want to wait for Santa Claus, but mamma tells them if they don’t go to sleep he will not come, for as there is no chimney he must come through the window. They tumble into bed and mamma goes to prepare to play Santa, how different would be the day if Arthur were home. Meanwhile, the children plan to catch Santa, and creeping from bed they place a tub in front of the window and tie a string to the window sash with the other end fastened to one of their feet, so that when the window is raised the string will awaken them and they will catch him for he will have fallen into the tub. The scheme works fine. The window is raised and a form is seen to enter the window, but the crash brings the mother, who sees there Arthur whom grim misfortune has forced to desperate deeds, and he has broken into the house not knowing its occupants. The wife realizes at once his sad plight, and with a hurried explanation, smuggles him into the side room, where he dons the Santa Claus suit she intended to wear, so when the children appear he pretends to be caught by their trap, and they are simply wild with delight.

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Genre: Short Films Griffith
Starring: Henry B. Walthall, Marion Leonard, Gladys Egan
Year: 1909
Color/BW: Black & White
Director: D.W. Griffith
Movie Type: Public Domain Films
Decade: 1900s
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