Film: 2341

Feature Drama | 1920 | Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

Comic drama about a newspaper seller unwittingly involved with jewel thieves.

Man sells newspapers on the street. He strikes up a conversation with a rotund suited gentleman and shows him a headline in the paper about a jewel thief. The newspaper seller would like to catch him and claim the reward. A shifty looking gent leans on a lamp post and the paper seller rushes up to him to sell a paper, quickly realising he is the thief pictured. The newspaper seller gets the brick that is holding down his pile of papers, but a gust of wind blows the papers across the street and he runs after them. Meanwhile the thief gets into a cab. He returns, but another man is standing by the lamp post. The man mistakenly thinks it is the thief and hits him over the head with the brick and then realises he has hit a policeman or sheriff. The man runs off and stops outside a jewellery shop and looks back to make sure the sheriff isn't after him. A woman steps out of the shop and slips a pearl necklace into the man's jacket pocket. The shop owner challenges her but soon sees she didn't take anything. The woman walks off in an affronted manner and catches up with the newspaper seller further down the street. She befriends him but he is suspicious as she pats his jacket and he tries to make excuses to leave. She then grabs him and kisses him whilst hailing a cab. She pushes the shocked man into the cab.
Meanwhile the male thief hurriedly enters a door to a house. The cab pulls up to the kerb and the man and women get out - the man tumbling out the open door. He pays the taxi fare. The male thief peeks from behind the curtain at them and recognises the man. He sticks on a bigger moustache, removes his hat and picks up a gun. The woman opens the door to the house and repeatedly tries to get the man to enter, eventually pulling him across the threshold and tumbling onto the sofa. The male thief approaches him from behind and throws him out the still open door and onto the lawn. The dazed man lies face down on the lawn. The woman confronts her male partner "You big sap, I planted a necklace on that guy". The thief rushes to apologise to the man he threw out and dusts him down, meanwhile pick pocketing the necklace back. A policeman is strolling down the opposite pavement, so the thief suggests he gives the lady (his sister) the necklace, as it is her birthday. They go back indoors. The lady is busy packing. The young man pretends he has bought her a gift and places the pearls around her neck. Meanwhile the policeman has been stopped by two small children who lead him across the road. Back in the house the young man notices the woman's bag is full of jewellery. The two thieves make out they are worried about being robbed and the man hands the younger man the gun. He stands by the door as if to protect them, not realising they are thieves. The police arrive at the house and the thieving couple make a quick exit out the back door but are stopped by an armed policeman, who pulls off the man's moustache. Back in the house the young man stands guard at the door when he realises someone is there. He hides behind the sofa and aims the gun at the door. Two policemen burst through the door. One runs into another room and the other one starts crawling around the sofa looking for the other man. They keep missing each other, until the policeman fires his gun and the scared young man stands up with his hands in the air. The police go to arrest all three and they handcuff the two men together, by which time the younger man realises he has been duped by the thief in the newspaper. The woman makes a run for the door and the two men rush out a patio door and across the garden before getting caught around a post. The thief spins the man around and breaks the cuffs. The younger man stumbles backwards and ends up hanging over a cliff on the rope from a clothes line. The couple are arrested while the other man tries to clamber back up the rope. Below him a man is planting dynamite. The rope keeps slipping and the clothes line gives way and he lands at the bottom of the cliff just as the dynamite explodes. The policeman at the top of the cliff gets showered in rocks and looks down to find the other man partially buried in dirt. The cop throws stones at the man below, who clambers out of the dirt and picks up sticks of dynamite. He runs away with the dynamite under his arm, dropping sticks which explode behind him.


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