Classical Notes
title: D. W. Griffith's Adventures of Dollie
title: Structural Outline

Note: This synopsis is based upon a 16 mm copy of the paper print held by the Library of Congress Copyright Office. The cast included Arthur Johnson as the father, Linda Arvidson as the mother, Charles Inslee as the gypsy and Mrs. Frank Gebhardt as his wife; the players of Dollie and the other roles seem to be unknown.

1. LAWN, trees in background – Dollie runs into lawn area from opening between shrubs, followed by Mother and then Father, all nicely dressed. Each hugs Dollie, then exit to rear. (37 seconds at a projection speed of 16 frames per second)

2. RIVER BANK lined with stone ledge, home at rear through a break in tall shrubbery – Two boys with a fishing pole walk a dog along the path toward the rear. Mother and Dollie pass them, come forward, sit on the ledge. Gypsy approaches from the shrubs, offers mother 3 baskets, which she declines with increasing vigor. Gypsy shrugs, goes back, puts down baskets, then furtively returns and tries to snatch mother’s purse. They struggle. Father runs up, knocks down and beats Gypsy, who recovers his baskets. Each makes threatening gestures. (110)

3. GYPSY CAMP, wagon at front left, horses grazing on right – Gypsy Woman lies on the ground, gets up to tend a kettle over a fire at front right, then reclines again. Gypsy enters with baskets, shows woman his wounds, which she wraps with a cloth strip. He gestures angrily, indicating a small child, tosses belongings in back of wagon, pushes woman away when she tries to retrain him. (65)

4. LAWN (another view) – Father and Dollie play with rackets and shuttlecock. Mother calls Father away. Dollie continues to play as Gypsy sneaks up, grabs Dollie and takes her off. Mother, then Father, enter and look for Dollie. Father summons two friends who enter. The woman takes the Mother off, left. (88)

5. BUSHY AREA – A worker is swinging a scythe at the extreme right rear. The gypsy, carrying Dollie, runs to the foreground and exits. Seconds later, the father and Friend gesture to the Worker, and all run off along the same route as the Gypsy. (42)

6. GYPSY CAMP (same as shot 3) – Gypsy Woman is putting their pots and clothes in the rear of the wagon as Gypsy enters, carrying Dollie. She starts to put Dollie in wagon, then he gags Dollie, lifts her into an empty barrel and hammers down the top. Father, Friend and Worker enter and question Gypsy. They look to rear while Father enters wagon and tosses things out while Gypsy nonchalantly sits on barrel smoking, Gypsy Woman watching arms akimbo. Father alights, Friend and Worker return, all gesturing in frustration and leave. Gypsy gestures in triumph, tosses things back in wagon, loads barrel and goes to front. Wagon moves off. (97)

7. RURAL ROAD – Gypsy wagon comes forward at great speed. (11)

8. STREAM – Wagon enters from front. As it jostles, the barrel falls out and begins to float downstream to the left, as the wagon continues to the shore at rear. (25)

9. STREAM (another view) – Barrel floats downstream toward the camera. (24)

10. WATERFALL – Barrel goes over the waterfall and floats toward the camera. (22)

11. STREAM (waterfall in background) – Barrel slowly floats toward the camera. (40)

12. STREAM (another view) – Barrel floats toward the camera. (27)

13. RIVER BANK (same as shot 2, but panned slightly to right to show more of river) – Boy fishing pulls in barrel with his line to shore, bends down to examine it and reacts with surprise. Father runs up; they lift barrel onto bank, lean over to listen. Father picks up hammer, removes top, steps back in surprise, lifts out Dollie and hugs her. Mother runs up and hugs Dollie as Father and Boy look on. (114)

Copyright 2009 by Peter Gutmann

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