Un anuncio en el Lubin Bulletin de la cinta He Waits Forever, filmada por la Lubin en 1914 es de las pocas pruebas de su existencia, salvo las crónicas, anuncios y sinopsis que se publicaron en un par de semanarios norteamericanos.
En ninguna filmografía aparece mencionada esta película y fue gracias al hallazgo del programa en el archivo digital donde está parte del legado de Siegmund Lubin y los estudios de cine que construyó en los suburbios de Philadelphia a inicios del siglo XX. El archivo Lubin digitalizado lo encuentran en Digital History from the Libraries of Montgomery County Community College, donde me topé con el documento.
Pocas películas tenían a la totalidad de sus personajes interpretados por “mexicanos” o cuyos argumentos sucedían en este lado de la frontera, pero aún persiste el estereotipo del mal y ese es encarnado por un mexicano, quien muere de manera trágica por coincidencias del destino y no por la mano de la ley.
El anónimo crítico que esbozó un párrafo para criticar la cinta fue muy duro con sus opiniones y remató sobre He Waits Forever que “la actuación, como un todo, es mediocre”.
The Lubin Bulletin, impreso que la propia empresa publicaba para anunciar sus películas y que se localiza en el Montgomery County Community College en la Betzwood Collection, tiene un fotograma de la cinta, así como una crónica de Will M. Ritchey. Termina la publicidad con el elenco y la fecha de su estreno: 27 de noviembre de 1914.
He Waits Forever (1914)
Written by Will M. Ritchey
José Suárez, a poor Mexican, loves Helena Moreno, daughter of a wealthy resident. Helena returns José’s affection, but Moreno objects to the boy’s poverty and the “jefe político” orders José out of the town. José goes up into the Sierras and drives a mine shaft. Three years and more he works without results. Helena has promised to wait for José, but finally is persuaded to marry Andrés de Romero, a fine looking and worthy young Mexican. Then José strikes a rich gold vein and soon amasses a fortune. An insurrecto commander offers him a generalship if he will arm his men and devote some of his money to the cause. José, thinking to add glory to his wealth, accepts and winning many victories finally captures his home town. There he presents himself to Moreno and demands the hand of Helena. The old man tells José that she is married and points out the happy husband and wife in the garden. José resolves on a terrible punishment for all concerned. He orders a fiesta of the townspeople and all fearing to offend the General, attend. At a table he places a bottle of wine with four glasses, into each he pours several drops of poison, intending that Helena, Andrés, Moreno and himself shall die together. His emotion at the meeting is so acute that he is seized with a fainting spell, a waiter offers him one of the glasses, which he drinks. In his agony he grips the tablecloth, upsets the remaining glasses and falls forward dead.
William E. Parsons (José Suárez); E. Mayo (Andrés de Romero); John Hayes (Felipe Moreno); Velma Whitman (Helena Moreno).
Released Friday, November 27, 1914. Length about 1,000 feet.
The Moving Picture World del 21 de noviembre de 1914 (Vol. XXII, No. 8, p. 1116) publica una sinopsis con mucho más detalle que la anterior, donde se leen varias discrepancias entre ambas.
HE WAITS FOREVER (Nov. 27).—José Suárez, a poor Mexican, loves Helena Moreno, daughter of Felipe Moreno, a wealthy resident. Helena returns José’s affection, but her father forbids her to have anything to do with a poor man. José determines to go away, make his fortune and return to claim Helena. He climbs the wall of the Moreno grounds and meets Helena to say good-by. The girl promises to wait for him. The father sees the lovers’ meeting, has José arrested for trespass and the “jefe político” orders him out of the town. José goes into the Sierras, where he drives a mine shaft. Moreno urges Helena to marry Andres de Romero. The girl declares flatly that she will marry no one but José.
Three years pass, and Jose is doggedly driving his mine shaft, but without result. Helena still holds to her troth with José. Three more years elapse. Helena, who has gradually learned to forget Jose and love Andres, finally gives in and they are married. About the same time José strikes rich ore. He is rapidly becoming wealthy, when he receives a letter from one of the insurrecto commanders offering him a generalship if he will arm his miners and devote some of his gold to the cause of Mexico’s freedom. José accepts the offer of the insurrecto leader, thinking that he will add fame to his wealth. José’s army wins many victories and takes possession of his home town. José then hurries to Moreno’s residence and tells the old man that he has come to claim Helena. Moreno tells him that Helena is married, and points out the happy husband and wife in the garden. José is stunned. He returns to his headquarters and there determines upon punishment for all concerned. He sends out a command to townspeople, including Moreno, Helena and Andrés, that they are to attend a fiesta which he will give at the inn. Fearing to displease the rebel general all accept the invitation. José has a table set with four glasses and a bottle of wine. Before the guests arrive José fills the glasses and into each pours several drops of powerful poison. His plan is that Helena, Andrés, and Moreno and himself shall drink a toast and die together. José greets Helena and Andrés as if nothing had happened, but his emotions are so acute that he is seized with a fainting spell. One of the aids calls a waiter and urges him to get a glass of wine. The waiter sees the four glasses already filled on the table. He seizes one and hurries to the side room. José returns to the main room and takes Helena, Andrés and Moreno to the table to drink the death toast. The poison seizes José before they drink and in his agony he grips the table cloth, upsetting the other glasses, and falls forward dead.
Motography, por su parte, en el ejemplar del 28 de noviembre de 1914 (Vol. XII, No. 22, p. 756) reseña la cinta de forma muy limitada y corta.
He Waits Forever—Lubin—November 27.—José Suárez, a Mexican, loves Helena Moreno, though the girl’s father objects. When José determines to leave to find a fortune, he is seen bidding farewell to the girl by her father, and arrested. Later, escaping, José goes into the mountains and becomes a miner. Six years elapse and Helena is forced by her father to marry Andrés de Romero. José, meanwhile, becomes wealthy and is accorded a generalship in the Mexican army, if he will fight for Mexico’s freedom. Jose’s army wins many victories and, capturing his own town, he hurries to the Moreno home to find Helena, and is stunned to find her married. José determines revenge and inviting Moreno. Helena and Andrés to a fiesta, he poisons the food and plans to kill them all. José, at the critical moment faints, and the waiter gives him a drink from one of the poisoned glasses, and he dies.
Terminan las notas sobre esta cinta con una brevísima crítica anónima aparecida en The Moving Picture World, del 12 de diciembre (Vol. XXII, No. 11, p. 1522). Para el “crítico” el final es peculiar y cuestiona los motivos del autor para darle semejante muerte al villano.
HE WAITS FOREVER (Lubin), Nov. 27.— Photographically this picture is very well done and much beautiful scenery abounds, the plot being laid in Mexico. It has to do with the petty insurrections which are continually occurring there. There is a love theme which has a peculiar ending, and just why José, the first lover, should be made by the author to meet with such a sad end, or what he has done to deserve it, is not made at all plain. There is little continuity in the whole construction and the acting taken as a whole is mediocre.