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The Narrow Road (1912)

Two men are released from prison after having served their sentences. One is determined to go straight and stay out of trouble, but his fellow ex-con has other ideas, and his plans wind up spelling trouble for both of them.





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Credited cast:
Jim Holcomb
Mrs. Jim Holcomb
The Counterfeiter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christy Cabanne ...
A Tramp (as W. Christy Cabanne)
Max Davidson ...
A Tramp (unconfirmed)
Frank Evans ...
A Prison Guard
Charles Gorman ...
A Detective
Grace Henderson
Harry Hyde
J. Jiquel Lanoe ...
A Prisoner / The Foreman
Adolph Lestina ...
A Bartender
A Detective
W.C. Robinson ...
A Prison Guard


Jim Holcomb was a good fellow at heart, but having been thrown into evil associations he became perverted. He and a pal were arrested as counterfeiters and sent to the penitentiary. The story opens as their time of sentence is drawing to an end. Jim's faithful wife toils and patiently waits for his release, feeling that a brighter future is in store for them. The day of release arrives and when Jim meets his little wife he tells his erstwhile pal that it is the straight road for him in the future. The pal goes back to his old life, as he reasons it is easier to make counterfeit money than to earn real money. He is soon recognized and chased from his shack, where he is molding the "spurious." In his flight he runs into the apartment in which Jim and his wife live, and persuades them to hide his kit of tools. This rash act nearly costs them dear, for the detectives enter almost immediately. The cause of their escape and the guilty man's apprehension is too unique to describe here. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama





Release Date:

1 August 1912 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A print of this exists in the Library of Congress film archive (paper print collection) [35mm paper positive]. See more »

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User Reviews

has its moments
18 August 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This early Griffith short is available on a Library of Congress videotape called "Origins of the Gangster Film". It's not the most gripping tale ever filmed, but certainly has its good moments. Mary Pickford (looking much more womanly than she ever did in her later years) plays the wife of a petty crook who is trying to go straight. Both she and male lead Elmer Booth are very likeable, although their acting is not as clear and developed as you'll see in later silent films. Because of its early date, all the characters are shown from head to toe, theater style, and there may be moments when you'll wish Griffith would invent the closeup already. But the story has some fast-paced action and tension, and the realistic sets and costumes give the movie an authentic "working class" feel.

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