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The Telephone Girl and the Lady (1913)

A telephone operator hears a robbery in progress over the Phone and goes in search for help.


D.W. Griffith


Edward Acker (play), Anita Loos


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Cast overview:
Mae Marsh ... The Telephone Girl
Claire McDowell ... The Lady
Alfred Paget ... The Telephone Girl's Sweetheart
Charles Hill Mailes ... The Girl's Father
Harry Carey ... The Thief
John T. Dillon John T. Dillon ... The Grocery Man
Madge Kirby Madge Kirby ... The Telephone Operator
Joseph McDermott Joseph McDermott ... The Jewelry Salesman
Kate Bruce ... The Lady's Friend
Gertrude Bambrick Gertrude Bambrick ... The Maid
Lionel Barrymore ... The Desk Sergeant
Walter P. Lewis Walter P. Lewis ... Undetermined Role


Over the wire two friends were made and a catastrophe averted. Then in gratitude for her deliverance the lady enabled two young hearts to realize their desire. Watchful eyes had reckoned without the telephone girl and her many branching wires, while her father had reckoned without the sergeant on the beat and the lady. The father coveted the groceryman and his store for the girl, but the lady found a way to satisfy all. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


Short | Drama







Release Date:

6 January 1913 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Prints of this film survive in the Library of Congress and the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

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User Reviews

One Good Turn Deserves Another
12 November 2007 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Mae Marsh works, happily, as an ordinary telephone operator; among the calls she places is one to the jewelry shop "Julius Jorgenson", as wealthy Claire McDowell calls to arrange a meeting about some jewels. Ms. Marsh uses her break time to see policeman suitor Alfred Paget. "The Telephone Girl and the Lady" cross paths as the former is on her way back to work, and the latter is returning home from the jewelry store. McDowell is impressed with Marsh's friendliness. They do not know Ms. McDowell is being followed by bicycle thief Harry Carey; he is planning to relieve McDowell of her jewels.

Later, "The Lady" McDowell sends "The Telephone Girl" Marsh a beautiful necklace, writing, in an accompanying note, "I am asking you to accept this token in appreciation of your promptness and painstaking efforts to please." From her telephone operator position, Marsh calls to thank McDowell for the gift. While the two women converse, burglar Carey sneaks enters McDowell's house, placing "The Lady" in great danger! Marsh hears McDowell being assaulted at the other end of her telephone line - will she be able to rescue McDowell from Carey's clutches?

D.W. Griffith, G.W. Bitzer and the good folks at Biograph deliver another winner. The location scenes are beautiful; generous amounts of early 1900s New York scenery are displayed on screen. The Biograph players perform an exciting story well. Carey is particularly menacing in his scene with McDowell; adding an amorous edge to his attack. Marsh is also notable; she is both expressive and natural, in a thoroughly charming performance. The story is a little confusing, however; it is adapted from a play, where some further explanation of story elements and character motivations may be clearer.

****** The Telephone Girl and the Lady (1/6/13) D.W. Griffith ~ Mae Marsh, Claire McDowell, Harry Carey

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