Film: 9931

Feature Drama | 1910 | Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

Great train crash off a railway bridge and derailment. Dramatic boat chase after a train.

A pony and trap or horse and carriage waits in the street with its uniformed and top hatted driver, who is holding a whip. A man and a lady approach, she is wearing a shawl and bonnet, the man helps the woman into the cab, puts a rug over her knees then climbs up beside the driver. They drive off. A man walks into view then stops suddenly. A woman walks to where the cab left from and looks around. The man approaches her, doffs his hat, and they walk off. They cross the road in front of the pony and trap, which lets them cross. The man accompanies the woman to a building on the street corner then leaves her. Back view of the pony and trap, with the young woman looking out of it. The man walks along beside the road. He draws alongside the horse and trap. He doffs his hat at the young woman, the carriage stops and she takes his hand.
Intertile "We have just opened our town house -do come in to see me."

They talk more, shake hands, he doffs his hat again and the carriage moves off. The woman smiles to herself.

Intertitle "In the morning." A man in a cap walks along the railway line, he is carrying tools. He peers carefully at the rails, kicks the track with his foot to test it and walks on.

Two men are in an office, one is on the telephone, smoking a cigar. Alternate shots of the two men having a telephone conversation.
Intertitle "I left the papers in the safe at my country place. My daughter is there - she will bring them at once." The men both hang up. The man with the cigar telephones his daughter. A woman sits down and picks up the telephone. Her father speaks to her.
Intertitle "…and hurry, it's most important that we have the papers today." She understands, and hangs up. Her father smiles and hangs up. Wearing a hat and coat, the woman bends down at the safe, turns a key, removes some papers then locks the safe again. A woman lets her out of the front door. The girl waves and goes to her car, which is parked beside the house. She gets into the car and it drives off. Shot of the car driving along the road.

The man with the tools and cap walks along the railway track as it crosses over a bridge over a river. Close up of the track. He sees the rotten sleeper and marks it with chalk then quickly runs off to raise the alarm.

The daughter's car drives along the road then comes to a halt. A man, presumably the chauffeur, gets out and opens the bonnet. The girl gets out and the driver points to the telegraph office, then removes his coat. The girl approaches the office, a man is outside. Another shot of the railway saboteur running away. The girl goes into the office and the man at the desk gives her a telegram form and she writes. The telegram is printed The Western Union Telegraph Company. The handwriting reads "Philip Hardin, Room 8 Railroad Building, Auto broke down am coming on the 1.30 Express, Louise." She gives it to the clerk and pays him. She meets another man as she leaves the office.
Intertitle "The express is due here any minute". The station master puts his hat on, gets his flag and flags the approaching train to stop. The guard gets down from the train and Louise climbs aboard. She finds a seat in front of a man reading a newspaper. Her father reads her telegram, we see the same text but printed.

The man in the cap runs into the telegraph office and writes. "Philip Hardin, Room 8 Railroad Building, Bridge station 476 in terrible condition, unsafe for trains to cross, Brandon. He gives the clerk the message.

Louise looks out of the train window. A man hands her father the second telegram, he opens it. He removes his glasses after reading it. He beckons his assistant to show him a map of the train route. Close up of the map. He steps back in horror as he realises the danger his daughter is in.
Intertitle "You get busy on the phone and I'll try to head them off."

The father leaves the office, the other man sits down to make a phone call. A man in the railway office answers the phone.
Intertitle "It's too late".

Louise's father gets into the back of his car and tells the chauffeur to drive. Shot of the express train coming around a corner. The car drives faster. Another shot of the train. Louise's father meets another man and he hurries him into a motor boat, which zooms off. Shot of the motor boat racing over the water. Close up of the motor boat pilot looking behind. Shots of Louise on the train and the train going along the track. Close up of the damaged rail. The motor boat nears the train and the pilot waves madly at the train to stop. The train continues along the track, the motor boat tries to catch up with it. Louise sits calmly on the train. The men in the boat decide what to do next.
Intertitle "Row me over to the dock and I'll try to beat them across the neck!"

They pull in to the jetty where another man is waiting and the pilot jumps out of the boat and runs to the boat house. Another shot of Louise looking out of the train window. The man runs along, waving his arms as the train goes over the bridge. The bridge spectacularly collapses and part of the train heads into the water. Wreckage and debris hits the water. The rest of the train falls into the water too. These shots are repeated. The man who was trying to warn the train faints. People slowly emerge from the crashed train in the water, climpbing out of the windows as the train lays on its side, partially submerged. Louise lays unconscious in the train. The passengers who are free try to rescue the others. A man (her lover?) tries to help Louise. The man gets into the rowing boat and starts rowing. People climb out of the train. Other people swim towards the wreckage. The rowing boat brings Louise and some of the other injured to shore. Louise's rescuer tries to revive her then lays her down on the shore in vain. He thumps the air in rage and grief and sobs into his arm. Meanwhile Louise opens her eyes and slowly sits up. He hugs her.

Ends.


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