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"The Musketeers Of Pig Alley" (1912) director D. W. Griffith, cinematographer Billy Bitzer

"The Musketeers of Pig Alley" is a short crime drama directed by D. W. Griffith. This film illustrates the work of actor Robert Harron and cinematographer Billy Bitzer, stars of Silent Hall of Fame.

"The Musketeers of Pig Alley" is the first gangster film in history.  It has some excellent acting by a very strong cast and a lot of suspense.  The film is also a predecessor of what would become known a quarter of a century later as "the film noir".

Lillian Gish plays The Little Lady, whose husband is a musician and has to leave town for work.  In his absence she has to rebuff the advances of a cocky character by the nickname of Snapper Kid (Elmer Booth), the gang leader of the Musketeers.

When her sick mother dies The Little Lady becomes grief-stricken.  One day she is visited by a friend who takes her to a dance party to raise her spirits.  The Little Lady is invited for a drink by some fellow, who puts a drug in her glass, but she is saved by Snapper Kid.  As it turns out, the other guy is the rival gang's leader.  The two bosses square off, but decide  to settle the dispute outside.

Suspense builds up as the two rival gangs chase each other around Pig Alley.  Will there be a winner, or will all perish or go to jail?

Directed by                        D.W. Griffith
Produced by                       Biograph Company
Cinematography               Billy Bitzer
Starring                              Elmer Booth, Lillian Gish, Robert Harron
Distributed by                    The General Film Company
Release date                       October 31, 1912
Running time                     17 min.
Country                              United States
Language                            Silent, English intertitles

You can see a slideshow of stills from this film and other interesting stuff on our website

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