» » The Price of Gold (1913)

Short summary

Which would you choose, providing you could have your choice in the matter? A husband with lots of money, one that you could not love, or a husband without money, one that you adored? This ... See full summary
Which would you choose, providing you could have your choice in the matter? A husband with lots of money, one that you could not love, or a husband without money, one that you adored? This was the terrible question that confronted Lois Roberts. She had lived almost all her young life in want, so chose the former. Her sweetheart of old, gave her up only too unwillingly and went back to his work as a railroad engineer. The empty life Lois led in all her wealth and splendor, did not satisfy the woman who had decided to live without love. A short visit to her sister in the country who had married a man in moderate circumstances and was blessed with two loving children, awoke in Lois the spirit of motherhood. Lois returned to her beautiful mansion, after she had seen her former sweetheart for the last time. Here we leave Lois to sob out her grief in not having married the man she loved.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Todal
    A simple, wholesome situation which, in its development, contrasts the happy lot of a village girl dreaming of riches with the cold and empty life that becomes hers after she marries wealth. It is an effective picture and it makes a good offering, one that will be widely popular. It won the audience with whom we saw it. Dorothy Phillips plays well both the simple girl and the rich society matron and her ease and naturalness make the picture convincing. She is supported by a good cast; Frank Dayton as her husband; Dolores Cassinelli, her married sister, and E.H. Calvert, her humble sweetheart. Bryant Washburn plays her sister's husband. The sets, especially the dining-room and the library in the city house, are admirable. The photography is of good quality in most of the scenes, though a bit shadowy in some. - The Moving Picture World, April 19, 1913
  • comment
    • Author: Faegal
    This is a simple and neatly told little morality tale about two sisters, seemingly without parents, one of whom decides to marry for money. The message of the film is not, as the other reviewer suggests that "the rich are unhappy" but a much less easily dismissed contention that "marrying for money leads to unhappiness". The sister in question is not unhappy because she is rich, she is unhappy because she is married to a man whom she does not love who is moreover an older man by whom she has no children. The issue of childlessness, though not specifically pointed up, is established by the comparison with the other sister's happy household, and is clearly an important element in her unhappiness.

    Essanay was trying to get away from its image as a purveyor of westerns and actually made several social dramas at this time. From the Submerged (1912) or The Gilded Cage (1915) are other examples. They do all have a strong and simple moral line and are rather conservative, particularly with regard to social mobility (The Gilded Cage again concerns an unhappy wife who has married for reasons of social betterment). The company also had a very notable success in 1917 with a whole series of twelve such dramas highlighting the predicament of children entitled "Do Children Count?). Unfortunately these got caught up with war-mania and the only one of them that seems to be available is the last - The Kingdom of Hope - which is a rather grotesque piece of anti-pacifist propaganda that has children chanting "we want war, we want war.
  • comment
    • Author: Ndlaitha
    When Dorothy Phillips meets a wealthy bachelor, she throws over her working-class beau and marries the rich man. After five years, she visits her married sister and realizes how empty her life is in this smug Esannay short subject.

    Essannay is remembered for westerns, frequently starring co-owner Broncho Billy Anderson and for a series of shorts by Charley Chaplin after he left Keystone. Their audience was the same set of working class people who could not afford live theater and they frequently catered to their prejudices against the wealthy in pieces like this one. In this one, the effort to say that the rich are not happy is obvious and not particularly well done.

    If you wish to see this movie, there is a good copy of it on the Eye Institute site on Youtube.
  • Cast overview:
    Dorothy Phillips Dorothy Phillips - Lois Roberts
    Frank Dayton Frank Dayton - Lois's Husband
    E.H. Calvert E.H. Calvert - Lois's Former Sweetheart
    Dolores Cassinelli Dolores Cassinelli - Lois's Married Sister
    Bryant Washburn Bryant Washburn - Lois's Married Sister's Husband
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