Beatrice Fairfax Episode 11: The Wages of Sin (1916)

Article 3942 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-27-2012
Posting Date: 5-30-2012
Director unknown
Featuring Grace Darling, Harry Fox, Betty Howe
Country: USA
What it is: Episode of series of shorts

The daughter of a famous inventor, now deceased, has been tasked with destroying his final invention, a deadly weapon. But criminals are after the weapon, and have bribed the daughter’s boyfriend to help them. Can Beatrice Fairfax solve the daughter’s problem?

I’m not sure what criteria is used to separate serials from series of shorts (and I’ve encountered serials that don’t use the cliffhanger format, so that isn’t the only criteria), but IMDB does classify each Beatrice Fairfax episode as a separate movie rather than as episodes of a serial; that is why I only found it necessary to watch this single episode of the series. The series centers around an “advice to the lovelorn” columnist who will occasionally show up in person to help those who write her. I’m guessing that most of the episodes were mysteries of one sort or another. This one gets its fantastic content from two directions; the terrible weapon puts it in the realm of science fiction, albeit from a Gizmo Maguffin angle, and the story involves one character pretending to be a ghost, giving it a certain marginal horror atmosphere as well. Actually, I found this a fairly entertaining little short; it’s well-acted and has a fun sense of humor as well. I don’t know if I’ll be covering any others in this series, but if they’re all as good as this one, it would be a pleasure.


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