The Perils of the Atlantic - 1912
A Scene from the Moving Picture The Perils of the Atlantic. The palm reader's gaze raised from the hand outstretched before her to the dark, troubled eyes of Mrs. Trevor. "A hand of which there is much to be said but which is not for me to tell," were her portentous words. The Moving Picture News (23 November 1912) p. 13. GGA Image ID # 10af3d7fae
The Gaumont Company
The Gaumont Company are putting out a series of States rights propositions which promise to fill the bill with the usual Gaumont gusto.
"The Perils of the Atlantic," a tremendously exciting and spectacular film, in two reels, is quite startling in some of the effects produced through talented photography and stagecraft. The following is a brief sketch of the story:
James Trevor, on the eve of departure for America, to visit an agency, delays taking passage on a Transatlantic steamship, due to a warning from a friend advising him to postpone his voyage because of the jeopardy to ocean traffic from icebergs.
Mrs. Trevor, at a friend's house, meets a palm reader, then being received by fashionable society. The palm reader for some inscrutable reason refuses to employ her arts on the palm of Mrs. Trevor. She does, however, agree to
an engagement. The prophecy Mrs. Trevor receives is a fearful one. With a sinking heart the wife and mother hear that she is to lose one to her near and dear. "Will it be my husband or my son?" is the tremulous query which reverberates through her brain.
Mr. Trevor is seeing an advertisement for the "Colossus," the largest steamship in the world, just about to make her maiden trip, departs on her.
The "Colossus," however, has not gone far on her journey when she strikes an iceberg and sinks with most of her passengers aboard.
The wife of Mr. Trevor and his young son are so tremendously shocked by the news that the little one becomes very ill. Mrs. Trevor doubly grief-stricken imagines that she is to lose both husband and son. However, eventually the glad tidings that her husband has been saved reaches her, and she is momentarily glad, but still depressed, and under the influence of what the palm reader has told her, she fears for her little son.
Seeing his niece's condition, an old uncle of Mrs. Trevor concocts a scheme to destroy her faith in the palm reader and makes an appointment with her to have his niece's hand read telling the palm reader that the young woman in question is about to be married. They go at the time appointed, and, forced to read Mrs. Trevor's hand through the opening of a curtain, her identity being thereby hidden, the palm reader exactly reverses her former prophecy.
Her trickery unmasked, the palm reader is sent away frustrated, while the relieved mother hastens back to her wounded dove. The father arrives, and his presence acts as a tonic most efficacious. The child quickly rallies to bring joy again to the household over which the Sword of Damocles had menacingly hung.
PERILS OF THE ATLANTIC (Feature, 3 reels).—James Trevor, on the eve of departure for America to visit an agency, delays his passage on a transatlantic steamship because of a warning letter received from a friend advising him to postpone his departure because due to icebergs. Mrs. Trevor, at friends because of icebergs. Mrs. Trevor, at a friend's house, meets a palmist then being received by fashionable society. The psalmist, for some inscrutable reason, refuses to employ her arts on the palm of Mrs. Trevor. She does, however, agree to an engagement. The prophecy Mrs. Trevor receives is a fearful one and, with sinking heart, the wife and mother hear that she is to lose one to her near and dear. Will it be my husband or my son, is the tremulous query which reverberates through her brain. Mr. Trevor, seeing an advertisement for the Colossus, the largest steamship in the world, which is just about to make her maiden trip, engages passage on her. The lonely wife, her mind disturbed by the palmist's prophecy, writes to her uncle, asking him to spend a few days with her to relieve her from her low spiritedness. The Colossus meets the fate of the Titanic, striking an iceberg in the night and sinking into the depths with the majority of her two thousand souls. While Mrs. Trevor and her uncle are at dinner, there is brought a newspaper containing the first announcement of the fate of the Colossus. Great is the grief of the mother, but stronger the grief of the child, whose health suffers under the poignancy of the melancholia.
Meanwhile, the survivors of the Colossus, among whom is James Trevor, have reached the port and to his wife and child, the husband flashes the joyous "All is well" telegram. With one terror relieved, there is yet another potential grief seemingly in store for the mother. The palmist's prophecy, however, haunts her, and she fears that since her husband has been snatched from the scythe of Death, the little son will be garnered in by the grim reaper. The obsession more and more possesses the feminine mind until wrinkles of anxiety come into her face and the light of an unknown terror into her eyes. Mr. Jullien, the uncle, a man of sound judgment and common sense, has little faith in the readings of the palmist
and believes that a ruse will relieve the worries of the mother by proving to her that the palmist is a mere charlatan. The uncle accordingly writes to the palmist, asking her to come to the hotel to read the hand of his niece, a young woman about to be married. The palmist is somewhat surprised to see the room inhabited by a man and she looks about for the mentioned young woman. None is in sight, but through the curtains before a door leading to an adjoining room extends a white, graceful feminine hand. The palmist refuses to perform her reading under such conditions, but the uncle prevails upon her by the argument that since she reads the palm, the sight of the other parts of the individual is unnecessary. The moving argument, however, is the presentation of a substantial fee. The palmist, falling into the trap, accordingly makes a pretended reading of the mysterious hand and utterly contradicting all of her dark predictions of a few weeks previous, prognosticates the brightest prospects of great happiness and prosperity of the subject. Better by her own reading the mother, subject to such a mental strain, pushes aside the curtain and confronts the dismayed palmist. The uncle then gets into possession of a letter addressed to the palmist which more fully explains
her nefarious business, the letter congratulating the palmist upon her use of the "apparent possession of supernatural foresight, which always attracts the many fools who in this trash believe." Her perfidy unmasked, the palmist is sent away discomfited while the relieved mother hastens back to her wounded dove. The father arrives, and his presence acts as a tonic most efficacious, and the child quickly rallies to bring joy again to the household over which the sword of Damocles was threateningly hung.
"The Gaumont Company," in The Moving Picture News: America's Leading Cinematograph Weekly, New York: The Cinematograph Publishing Company, Vol. VI, No. 21, 23 November 1912. p.13.
"Perils of the Atlantic," in The Moving Picture News: America's Leading Cinematograph Weekly, New York: The Cinematograph Publishing Company, Vol. VI, No. 22, 30 November 1912. p.25.