The Moving Picture World del 22 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 12, p. 1222):
COMING RELEASES OF WARNER’S FEATURES
Some big things are in store for exhibitors using Warner’s Features. Down in Austin Texas, the Satex Film Co. is turning out some wonderful three-reel productions, featuring Miss Martha Russell, formerly Essanay’s leading lady. The first picture, “Their Lives by a Thread,” has been confiscated by the Mexican Government because it contained some striking scenes taken across the border in which real untamed Mexicans are shown attacking Americans. But the second release [“Mexican Conspiracy out Generaled”], more thrilling than the first is on its way North, and will be ready for booking this month.
The New York Clipper del 3 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. LVI, No. 12, p. 16):
Martha Russell, star of the Satex Film Co., of Austin, Texas, late of the Essanay Co., has never appeared to better advantage than in her latest releases controlled by Warner’s Feature Film Co. They are: “Mexican Conspiracy out Generaled” and “Their Lives by a Thread.”
The Moving Picture World del 10 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 6, p. 604):
Martha Russell, in “Their Lives by a Thread”
Lovers of the sensational will find in “Their Lives by a Thread,” a three-reel Warner’s Feature, some startling incidents. Martha Russell, as the daughter of a prosperous American living in Mexico, who has defrauded his life insurance company out of $100,000 by a fiendish plot, falls in love with the president of the insurance company and saves him from death at the bottom of a deep excavation.
To accomplish this, she climbs inside an ore-bucket and with a Mexican girl at the throttle of the hoisting engine, is carried five hundred feet in the air, then lowered to the spot where her admirer has been thrown by half-crazed strikers who believe him to be a strike-breaking leader.
Miss Russell is supported by Robert Kelly, leading man of the Satex Film Co., of Austin, Texas.
Emilio García Riera en su obra México visto por el cine extranjero (p. 51) relata:
En Their Lives by a Thread (1913), unos norteamericanos eran atacados en la frontera por “salvajes mexicanos verdaderos”, según The Moving Picture World (22 de marzo de 1913); se decía en la nota dedicada por la revista a esa película que Their Lives by a Thread fue confiscada por el gobierno mexicano, pues varias de sus escenas habían sido filmadas indebidamente en México.
Ficha filmográfica de Their Life by a Thread. También conocida bajo el título de Their Lives by a Slender Thread. (1913) Norteamericana. B&N: Tres rollos. Drama. Producción: Satex Film Company. Distribución: Warner’s Features, Incorporated. Estrenada en abril de 1913. Drama. Intérpretes: Martha Russell y Robert Kelly.
De Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912), Emilio García Riera anota lo siguiente en México visto por el cine extranjero (vol. 1, p. 24):
Pero esos mexicanos de las películas de Broncho Billy, los buenos y los malos, eran prerrevolucionarios. Pocos años después, algo debió contar la revolución para que Broncho Billy and the Greaser (1914) y Broncho Billy’s Greaser’s Deputy (1915) indicaron desde sus títulos un antimexicanismo sin matices. En Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912), Anderson propuso un caso ambivalente: si una esposa mexicana traicionaba al héroe norteamericano, éste acababa bendiciendo la unión en la muerte de la traidora y su también mexicano amante, como si la pasión amorosa justificara todo.
Más adelante, García Riera en la misma obra (p. 55) remata:
Las mexicanas “de moral dudosa” – bailarinas, cabareteras, prostitutas – no fueron todavía abundantes, por lo visto; proliferarían en el cine futuro y, sobre todo, en el sonoro, que les permitiría lucir habilidades musicales. Hubo de cualquier modo bailarinas mexicanas virtuosas como la de Mexican Crime (1909), y aun la de Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912), que traicionaba a su marido norteamericano, era capaz del amor verdadero.
The Cinema News and Property Gazette del 22 de enero de 1913 (Vol. II, No. 15, p. 63) publicó una breve sinopsis de la cinta:
“BRONCHO BILLY’S MEXICAN WIFE.” (Essanay.)
Broncho marries a Mexican girl at the earnest entreaty of her dying father. Later a Mexican singer wins her love, and, to get Broncho out of the way, she has him arrested and gaoled on the charge of having assaulted her. In a frenzy of rage, Broncho secures the sheriff’s revolver, escapes from gaol, and tracks the pair to his shack. Meanwhile, the Mexican singer’s sweetheart, jealous of his attentions to Broncho’s wife, reaches the shack first, and when Broncho bursts in, gun in hand, he finds the pair dead on the floor, her knife having found both their false hearts.
Released February 9th. Length 990 feet.
Por su parte, The Moving Picture World del 30 de noviembre de 1912 (Vol. XIV, No. 9, p. 867) publicó una reseña de Jas. S. McQuade:
“Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife” (Essanay)
Reviewed by Jas. S. McQuade
BRONCHO Billy is still to the fore among Essanay’s releases, as “Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife” will prove. This tale of life on the Southwestern border, as told in pictures, affords some fine touches in character drawing, several strong situations that border on, but just avoid, the shedding of gore in view of the spectator, and settings about as appropriate as one could wish to represent the section in which the scenes are laid.
G. M. Anderson should please his multitude of followers in this exciting episode, in the life of Billy, for it reveals the latter as be appears under the -tress of injustice, in addition to his well-known resourcefulness and daring. A faithless woman is more than a match for the wisest man in cunning and, in this case. Billy’s Mexican wife makes him appear like a deuce spot, when he measures his craftiness against hers. By the way, the role of the wife is capitally played, and the young woman, whoever she may be, deserves praise for keen imaginative acting. The mocking, malignant sneer on the wife’s face, as she tantalizes her imprisoned husband by kissing her Mexican lover, while her maddened mate looks on through prison bars, expresses the lowest depths of woman’s self-abandonment and fiendish cruelty.
It would be impossible to enact this story, when men of red blood or women who have been betrayed are included, without a tragedy. The closing scene shows the reward of the unfaithful wife and her companion, but the act of punishment has been skillfully avoided in the pictures.
The photography deserves more than usual commendation. It is really a delight to view the pictures from this standpoint.
Broncho Billy is a great favorite of old Mexican Pietro, who has an only daughter Lolito. The latter is a beautiful girl, who loves a strolling musician, one of her own race. Pietro knows nothing of this attachment, and, on his deathbed, gets Lolito’s promise that she will marry Billy.
On the day of the marriage ceremony, a band of Mexican musician-, visits the small town Manuel, the lover of Lolito, is with them, ignorant of her marriage, he calls on her and is received with a show of great affection. They are interrupted by the appearance of Billy on the scene, and the Mexican slinks off after some sharp words from the man of broncho fame.
Later on, they are again discovered together by the sharpeyed husband, and Manuel is led to the wooden bridge leading from the town and warned never t” return on pain of death. While Billy is thus engaged, his unfaithful wife resorts to cunning to thwart his plan-. She inflicts a wound on her shoulder with a large knife, and hurrying to the Sheriff’s office, charges her husband with the (rime of attempted murder. Billy is arrested and imprisoned.
But Billy is not the only one in the story who has been betrayed. Anita, the sweetheart of Manuel and the dancer of the wandering troupe, has watched every movement of her lover, and is mad with jealousy. When Manuel and Lolito, free from the intervention of the imprisoned Billy, enjoy each other’s society without restraint, Anita is a silent and vindictive witness. She bides her time until the opportunity arrives, and both are discovered dying by the Sheriff and his posse. With her last breath Lolito declares Billy innocent of the charge made against her, and denounces Anita as the slayer of herself and companion.
Ficha filmográfica de Broncho Billy’s Mexican Wife (1912) Essanay, American. B & N: un rollo. Producción: Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. Distribución: The General Film Company, Incorporated. / Productor:Gilbert M. Anderson. Director: Gilbert M. Anderson. Guión: Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson. Elenco: Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson (Broncho Billy), Bessie Sankey (Lolita, la joven mexicana), Arthur Mackley (Pietro), Harry Todd (Perkins, el Sheriff), Fred Church (Manuel, el mexicano con la guitarra), Evelyn Selbie (novia deManue)l, Victor Potel, Willis Elder, Texas George Briggs, Frank Pementel, Pat Rooney, True Boardman, Jay Hanna. Estrenada el 30 de noviembre de 1912. Existe una copia en el archivo fílmico de The International Museum of Photography and Film atGeorge Eastman House. Según una nota suelta se menciona a Reina Valdéz en el reparto, pero no aparece en las fichas filmográficas del IMDb y de Silent Era.
The Moving Picture World del 14 de junio de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 11, p. 1166):
THE FIGHTING LIEUTENANT (June 20).—Don Arguello, in order to get the fortune of his ward, Princess Irma, insists that she marry him. The high-spirited girl repulses him as equally unworthy of love or respect, hut temporizes with him. About this time Captain Falconbridge, of the U. S. Cavalry, who is stationed at the Mexican border, is introduced to Irma at Don Arguello’s home by Don Carlos, a high-grade young Mexican, who consorts with Americans. At a later visit Don Arguello happens on the scene and shows his immediate disapproval by insulting the American flag which Falconbridge has presented to Irma. This so incenses the soldier that he requests the ladies to leave the room while he gives the old roue a sound trouncing. He has completed this in satisfactory fashion, the furniture being wrecked In the struggle, when a detachment of Mexican soldiers arrive.
Falconbridge escapes the vengeance of the reinforcements by leaping through a window. Irma, who is waiting the outcome of the fight in the garden, decides to fly over the border with the American and escape her vengeful and despised guardian. Don Carlos admires Irma, but unselfishly gives aid in this good cause. Close to the border the fleeing pair is forced to take refuge in an adobe. There they “stand-off” the pursuing greasers until the boys of Falconbridge’s command, hearing the firing, and scenting trouble, ride over the border and make a daring rescue.
En México visto por el cine extranjero, Emilio García Riera comenta sobre este filme:
Si un mexicano raptaba a una norteamericana, quedaba exhibido como un lujurioso inmundo y era castigado por ello; en cambio, el protagonista norteamericano de The Fighting Lieutenant (1913), que raptaba a una mexicana para salvarla de un matrimonio sin amor y llevársela a los Estados Unidos, quedaba como un héroe.
Nota de The New York Times:
Written and directed by the rather anonymous E.A. Martin, this silent Selig Polyscope presentation starred Harold Lockwood as a U.S. cavalry officer, stationed on the border to Mexico, who saves a lovely senorita (Adele Lane) from a loveless marriage to a scoundrel (Al E. Garcia). A former stock player with the Philadelphia-based Lubin company, brunette Adele Lane later appeared for various Universal companies. Her screen career, alas, didn’t outlast the 1910s.
Ficha filmográfica de The Fighting Lieutenant. Producción: Selig Polyscope Company. Director: E. A. Martin. Guión: E. A. Martin. Intérpretes: Harold Lockwood (Cap. Falconbridge); Adele Lane (Irma); Al Ernest García (Don Arguello); George Hernández (Conde); Eugenie Besserer (Condesa) y William Hutchinson (Viejo sirviente). Estrenada el 20 de junio de 1913.
The Moving Picture World, Vol. XVI, No. 8, May 24, 1913, p. 832:
LOVE AND WAR IN MEXICO (Special, 2 parts. May 28).—James Hudson, a young civil engineer, is engaged in surveying land In Southern California, when he meets and falls in love with Pequita, the daughter of Don Jose Alvarado, a Mexican farmer. Pequita learns to love Hudson and they are eventually married. Two years pass and Hudson has become addicted to the use of liquor, and has grown tired of Pequita. One day, while in a drunken rage, he strikes her, and as she falls unconscious, and he, being unable to revive her, believes her dead. He runs from the house, and, after a long journey, falls exhausted at the door of a mission. The padre finds him and takes him inside, where he is nursed back to health and eventually becomes a monk. In the meantime, Pequita has been found by her father and taken to his home, where her little son is born.
Twenty years elapse and the son, grown to manhood, has joined the insurgent Mexican army and is selected to do duty as a spy. He enlists in the Federal forces and in the execution of his duties as a spy, he is discovered and tried by court martial. He is condemned to death, but when the commanding officer visits him in his cell, the boy overpowers him and escapes by donning the officer’s cloak and bat. A detachment of soldiers give chase and overtake him at the door of the mission. The padre protects the boy and requests that he be allowed one hour for confession, after which the padre promises to deliver the prisoner to them. The officer consents and the boy is led inside. He requests that his mother be sent for and a monk goes to bring her. When she arrives she immediately recognizes the monk as her husband, and tells him that the boy Is his son. At the expiration of the hour the officer demands his prisoner, and the men are waiting outside the mission gate to carry out the execution. As the boy and mother are kneeling in prayer, the father dons the cloak and cap in which the boy escaped and goes out. As he opens the gate and steps forth, be is met by a volley of bullets from the guns of the soldiers, who march away, believing they have done their duty. The mother and son rush from the mission and fall weeping across the body of the father who, with his life, atoned for the suffering he had caused them.
The Moving Picture World, Vol. XVI, No. 11, Jun. 14, 1913, p. 1135:
“LOVE AND WAR IN MEXICO” (Lubin), May 28 — A melodramatic picture of revolutionary times in Mexico. It is in two parts; but would have been better in one. The scenario was worthy of artistic treatment, but is very poorly acted. The scenes too, are poorly composed and, with dull photography, are more of a hindrance in that they give the mind something to be dissatisfied with, when it would prefer to think of nothing but the story. The opening is particularly dull and without the snap that it ought to have and, in these early scenes, the “degenerate husband’s” brutalities are annoying. Some people left the theater, others laughed and made fun of them. In the end, this man has become a very devout priest, thinking his wife dead. Twenty years late, his son, whom he has never seen or heard of is to be shot by the Federals and runs to the church. The priest promises the captain to bring the fugitive in an hour and sends for the boy’s mother, a woman of the village, whom he doesn’t know is his wife, until they meet.
Ficha filmográfica: Love and War in Mexico (1913) Norteamericana. B & N: dos rollos. Productor: Siegmund Lubin para la Lubin Manufacturing Company. Distribución: The General Film Company, Inc. Estrenada el 28 de mayo de 1913. Director: Wilbert Melville. Intérpretes: Henry King (James Hudson); Irene Hunt (Paquita); Carl von Schiller (Manuel, el hijo); James Fitzroy (José).
Motography del 31 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 11, p. 6):
James Hudson married to a beautiful Mexican girl in a drunken fit strikes her and leaves her for dead. He seeks refuge in a Mission and becomes a monk. Pequita is nursed back to life and has a son. Twenty years later the boy becomes a spy in the Mexican Revolution, he is discovered and sentenced to be shot. He escapes but is pursued by the soldiers to the Mission. There he pleads that they send for his mother. In the Mission, Pequita recognizes her husband. The monk takes the boy’s hat and cloak and coming out of the gate, places himself in front of the guns.
The Moving Picture World del 24 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 8, p. 784):
James Hudson is married to a beautiful Mexican girl Pequita. In a maudlin condition he strikes her and leaves her for dead. He seeks refuge in a Mission and becomes a Monk. Pequita is nursed back to life and has a son. Twenty years later, the boy becomes a spy in the Mexican Revolution, is discovered and sentenced to die. He escapes, but the soldiers trace him to the Mission and capture him. He pleads that they send for his mother. She recognizes her husband and tells him it is his son. The father changes clothes with the boy and suffers the penalty.
The Moving Picture World del 24 de mayo de 1913 (Vol XVI, No. 8, p. 781)
As its title implies, a Mexican war drama of more than usual interest. Two reels, produced by LUBIN. A young American, a civil engineer, makes the fatal mistake of marrying the daughter of a Mexican farmer. They quarrel and he strikes her, leaving her for dead. Years later, he does penance for his crime, by giving his life for his son, who has been captured as a spy.
Emilio García Riera en México visto por el cine extranjero (Vol. I, p. 55) menciona:
Otras, como las de In the Days of Gold (1911) y The Fatal Black Bean (Título antológico – El frijol fatal – de 1915), se probaban aguerridas al disfrazarse de hombres, y las hubo abnegadas al sufrir en Fate’s Interception (1912) y en Love and War in Mexico (1913) los agravios de un mal marido gringo.
En el volumen II de la misma obra, García Riera nos proporciona una sinopsis:
El ingeniero James Hudson, casado con la mexicana Paquita, hija del ranchero don José Alvarado, se vuelve con los años alcohólico. Cansado de su mujer, la desmaya a golpes; la cree muerta, por lo que huye y llega después de un largo viaje a un monasterio, donde lo cuida un fraile. Hudson se hace religioso a su vez. Veinte años después, el hijo de Paquita se une a los revolucionarios mexicanos y debe cumplir una misión de espionaje entre los federales, pero es descubierto y condenado a muerte. Sin embargo, logra huir disfrazado con el uniforme del jefe federal, a quien vence cuando el segundo lo visita en la prisión. El joven llega en su fuga a un monasterio, donde un fraile pide a sus preseguidores que permitan su confesión. Llega Paquita y reconoce a Hudson en el fraile. Hudson se disfraza como su hijo para morir en su lugar.
En un fuerte militar de la frontera con México, Mary, hija del pagador del regimiento, ama al disipado Tom, hijo del coronel. Para pagar una deuda de juego al mexicano Rivera, falso rico y espía, Tom roba 5 mil dólares. Rivera amenaza a Tom con denunciarlo si no le da los planos de unos fuertes del suroeste. Mary oye todo y vende sus joyas para ayudar a Tom. Dispuesto a regenerarse, Tom se enlista. Enviado a la frontera, debe conducir un carro de la Cruz Roja con Mary como enfermera. Atacan los mexicanos de Rivera y sólo quedan vivos Tom y Mary. Mientras él resiste, Mary huye y procura el auxilio de la caballería norteamericana. Herido, Tom se recupera en el hospital gracias a Mary y es ascendido a teniente.
Por su parte Margarita de Orellana en su libro La mirada circular editado por Cuadernos de Joaquín Mortiz nos proporciona la siguiente información (p. 186):
The Mexican Spy (El espía mexicano). Producción: Lubin. Realizador: Wilbert Melville. Guión: E. C. Hall. Actores: Edna Payne, Earl Metcalf, Edwin Carewe. Bobinas: 3. Fuente: The Moving Picture World, Vol. XV, Ene-Mar 1913, núm. 2, enero 11, 1913, p. 184.
Sinopsis: Tom, el hijo del coronel Loring, es un joven disipado. Mary Lee, la hija del pagador del regimiento, ama a Tom y hace esfuerzos por reformarlo. El señor Luis Rivera, un apuesto mexicano, en realidad un espía, se hace amigo de Tom y le gana 5 000 dólares apostando. Tom roba esa cantidad de la caja del pagador pero Rivera lo amenaza con denunciarlo a menos que robe los planos de los fuertes del suroeste norteamericano y él le regresará el dinero para que lo vuelva a colocar en la caja. Tom extrae los planos, pero antes de entregarlos Mary Lee, que se ha dado cuenta de todo, vende sus joyas y logra obtener 5 000 dólares. Entonces obliga a Tom a desafiar a Rivera a que regrese los planos a su lugar. Nadie sospecha de Tom, pero él se siente culpable. Rivera desaparece. Tom decide alistarse en el ejército. Envía una carta a Mary Lee, en la que promete redimirse. Al regimiento de Tom es enviado a la frontera. Mary Lee entra a la Cruz Roja y es enviada también a la frontera. Un día el cirujano envía a Mary a misión y se lleva una gran sorpresa al encontrar a Tom como conductor de su carreta. Rivera se entera de este viaje y se dispone a perseguir a la misión. Se inicia una lucha terrible y sólo quedan vivos Tom y Mary. Tom sube a Mary a una mula y la manda por refuerzos, mientras él resiste solo. Mary regresa con una tropa y encuentra a Tom herido. Gracias a los cuidados de Mary, Tom sana. Más tarde es ascendido a teniente y se casa con Mary.
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 2); The Moving Picture World de enero 18 de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 3, pp. 280-281) y The Motion Picture StoryMagazine de febrero de 1913 (Vol. V, No. 1, p. 167):
THE MEXICAN SPY
Jan. 17, 1913. LUBIN. 2 Reels
Tom Loring, a handsome but dissipated youth, loves Mary Lee, daughter of the regiment’s paymaster. In order to pay his gambling debts to the Mexican, Señor Rivera, supposedly rich but in reality a spy, Tom steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe. The Mexican threatens exposure unless Tom secures the plans of certain forts in the Southwest, but Mary hears of the situation and pawns her jewels to replace the stolen money. Realizing the sorrow he has caused his father and sweetheart, Tom disappears, leaving a note that he will not return until he has redeemed himself. He enlists under an assumed name, and his regiment is ordered to the Mexican frontier. Mary becomes a Red Cross nurse and is also ordered to the Mexican border. Tom’s bravery and strategy during a desperate encounter with the Mexicans under Rivera wins him promotion to Lieutenant, but he is seriously wounded, and Mary is greatly surprised to find among her patients, her lover. Her careful nursing restores him to health, and having redeemed his former misdeeds by his faithful and heroic service to his country, he claims Mary for his wife.
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, pp. 21-22):
A Live Lubin Two-Reel
One of the January Specials
Another of those live Lubin two-reels is on the books for early release—January 17, to be exact. It is to be handled through the General Film Company as a special feature.
The title is “The Mexican Spy.” It was written by Emmett Campbell Hall and produced by Wilbert Melville. The cast is as follows: Earle Metcalf (Tom Loring); L. C. Phillips (Colonel Loring); Edwin Carewe (Señor Luis Rivera); Edna Payne (Mary Lee); William Wells (Paymaster Lee).
As the story runs, Tom, son of Colonel Loring, is a handsome but dissipated youth, easily influenced to moral transgressions. Mary Lee, the paymaster’s daughter, loves Tom despite his failings, and tries desperately, though vainly, to reform him. Senor Luis Rivera, polished and apparently wealthy (but in reality a spy), becomes intimate with Tom, who, to keep up his end and pay his gambling losses to Rivera, steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe. Rivera threatens to expose Tom’s theft unless he steals for him the plans of forts in the Southwest, proposing to give back the money, which Tom may replace in the safe, if he does so. Tom cannot resist the temptation and secures the plans from his father’s office; but before he has delivered the drawings to Rivera, Mary learns of the situation, and by pawning her jewels and using a little legacy, raises enough money to replace that stolen. She then forces Tom to defy Rivera, and replaces the plans.
No one suspects Tom, but he realizes that he is breaking the hearts of his father and the girl, and swears that he will prove worthy of their love. Rivera has gone away. Tom disappears, and under another name enlists in the army, leaving a note for Mary in which he tells her that she will not see him again until he has redeemed his shameful past. Shortly afterward the regiment to which Tom has become attached is ordered to the southwestern border on account of difficulty arising with the Republic of Mexico.
In the meantime Mary has applied for and received an appointment as a Red Cross nurse, and is herself sent to the border. One day after her arrival she is sent by the surgeon in charge to a point some distance away from the hospital, and is greatly surprised to find the soldier assigned to drive the wagon furnished for her transportation none other than Tom. The two young folks are overjoyed to see one another again. Tom takes his seat with Mary and the escort inside and the journey starts.
Rivera with his troop learns of the trip and seizes an opportunity to secure revenge and the same time deal a blow at the hated Americans. He starts in pursuit of the little party. A running fight follows; and as a result Mary and Tom are the only ones left alive on the wagon. Tom stops the wagon, and hastily mounting Mary on one of the mules, sends her in search of aid while he undertakes to hold back the attacking Mexicans. Upon Mary’s return with a troop of cavalry, they find Tom lying wounded. Tom is taken to the hospital and with Mary’s careful nursing is restored to health. Later Tom is made lieutenant and secures Mary’s hand.
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 7):
The Mexican Spy is a two-reel special to be released by the Lubin Company, January 17th. It is a dramatic story typical of the army life of Mexico and the United States. The scenes are laid on the border and constitute a powerful lesson against gambling, which is only too common among the officers. The picture is made with every attention to the local and military atmosphere of the two republics.
Mary Lee, the daughter of the paymaster, is in love with Colonel Loring’s son, Tom, he is a reckless chap given to gambling and other bad habits. Marv endeavors to reform him, but unsuccessfully. At last Tom steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe to pay a gambling debt to Senor Luis Rivera, who is a Mexican spy. Rivera offers to return the money if Tom will steal the plans of the fortifications from the office of the Colonel. The deal is made and Tom secures the plans. Mary discovers the treason and by pledging her jewels gives her lover the money, and forces him to return the papers. Tom later joins the army on the border and Mary receives an appointment as a Red Cross nurse. One day she is sent to a distant point and when the wagon pulls up for the trip she finds that Tom is the driver. The wagon is attacked by Mexicans with Rivera in command. A battle ensues in which Tom is badly wounded, but Mary nurses him back to life. For bravery he is made a lieutenant, and for love wins his old sweetheart.
The Moving Picture World, Vol. XV, No. 5, Feb. 1, 1913, p. 464:
THE MEXICAN SPY (Lubin), Jan. 17-—A two-part story of the recent war with the Republic of Mexico, which we didn’t have. E. C. Hall wrote the scenario which Wilbert Melville produced seemingly at some army post in the West. It is a fair story, but somewhat conventional with a few added novelties which give it an apparent freshness. It is charitable not to say too much about the acting; but there is much to interest in a good many scenes where no acting was required, such as the fight between the Mexicans and the United States troops that come to the rescue of the hero who has been a thief and almost a traitor, but now bravely rehabilitates himself. Some of the backgrounds also are very acceptable.
Variety del 28 de febrero de 1913 (Vol. XXIX, No. 13, p. 15):
Siege of Mexico Film
It looks like the movies were in for a deluge of Mexican films both dramatic and otherwise according to the plans of some of the film manufacturers. Several uptown houses have been playing up Mexican dramas for several weeks. The Lubin Co. releases “The Mexican Spy” in two reels March 9.
With the dailies running columns about the Mexican revolution the pictures will get all the publicity the managers want.