Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Starring Herbert Prior, Mabel Trunnell, and Augustus Phillips, The Haunted Bedroom is a short film from the Edison Company. 

Lizette, a poor embroideress, wishes to marry Jean, but Jean's father demands a dowry of 10,000 francs.  After working for a year, Lizette has only been able to save 2000 francs.  Love seems doomed until her brother, a gambler, vows to turn her hard-earned money into a suitable dowry.

Lizette's brother wins the money at cards but manages to attract the attention of neer-do-wells determined to take the dowry.  He escapes and hides the money in his room at the inn.  But gambling and escaping from thugs is not for the faint of heart and, alas, he has a very weak heart.  He dies in a scene that puts the hiss in histrionics, leaving Lizette both dowry-less and Jean-less.

The brother's spirit haunts the room and protects the hidden money until he is able to enter the dreams of a visiting Englishman and reveal the hiding place.  Will the Englishman keep the money or will he give to Lizette?  And why is the Englishman walking around France carry a golf bag?  And what confidences are Lizette revealing when she talks to a small bird in a cage?  And does the bird in the cage symbolize Lizette's dowry-less condition?  Only one of these questions will be answered in the not very surprising conclusion.

This copy of the film is of poor quality, there is the irritating sound of the projector clacking through all 17 minutes of the film, the story is uninspired, and the haunting itself is milder than mild.  Oh well, if people could sit through Ishtar or Howard the Duck, I'm certain you can sit through this.

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