D.W. Griffith Shorts - The Lonedale Operator 1911

The station at Lonedale is in charge of an old operator and his daughter. The young engineer who makes the run between Lonedale and civilization is the sweetheart of the operator’s daughter, and upon receiving his call on this particular day he escorts her to the station, where, finding her father suffering from a nervous headache, she takes his place at the key after bidding adieu to her engineer sweetheart as he mounts into the cabin of his engine and rolls away. As her father leaves he discovers that his revolver is out of order and takes it with him to fix it. The old operator has forgotten, however, that this is the first of the month, on which a large sum of money is expressed to the station from the city office of the Lonedale Mining Company for the payroll. The train pulls in and she receives the express bag of money. Two tramps who are riding the rods see this delivery and assuming that the girl is in charge, get off to take their chances of securing the money. The windows all being heavily barred they make for the back door, which the girl, hearing an unusual noise, hastens to lock. They find it an easy matter to break through this. After locking the doors she rushes to the telegraph key and sends a call for help to the next station, some miles up the road, where she knows the train will stop. The locomotive driven by the girl’s sweetheart is dispatched. Meanwhile the tramps are slowly but surely making their way through the barriers to the room where the money is guarded by the girl. She keeps her wits and when the thieves finally break into the room they find it in darkness, as the girl has turned out the light and by the gleam of the moonlight that penetrates the window they see the girl’s outstretched arm and hand holding a streak of dangerous-looking steel directed full in their faces which forces them in the corner. On, on, rushes the engine until Lonedale is reached and a dash into the station is made by the engineer and fireman, who find the two would-be burglars held at bay by a weak woman armed with a nickel-plated monkey wrench which the tramps in the dark mistook for a pistol.

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Genre: Short Films Griffith
Starring: Blanche Sweet, Francis J. Grandon, Wilfred Lucas
Year: 1911
Color/BW: Black & White
Director: D.W. Griffith (uncredited)
Movie Type: Public Domain Films
Decade: 1910s
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