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The Musketeers of Pig Alley

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Genre  Short, Crime, Drama
Country  United States
6.8/10 IMDb

Director  D. W. Griffith
Music director  Robert A. Israel
The Musketeers of Pig Alley movie poster
Language  Silent film English intertitles
Writer  D. W. Griffith, Anita Loos
Release date  October 31, 1912 (1912-10-31) November 5, 1915 (1915-11-05) (U.S.)
Screenplay  D. W. Griffith, Anita Loos
Cast  Elmer Booth (Snapper Kid, Musketeers Gang Leader), Lillian Gish (The Little Lady), Clara T. Bracy (The Little Lady's Mother), Walter Miller (The Musician), Alfred Paget (Rival Gang Leader), John T. Dillon (Policeman)
Similar movies  Feast, Pacific Rim, The Artist, Fantasia, Paperman, Slippery Jim

The musketeers of pig alley 1912 1st gangster movie lillian gish d w griffith anita loos

The Musketeers of Pig Alley is a 1912 American short drama and a gangster film. It is directed by D. W. Griffith and written by Griffith and Anita Loos. It is also credited for its early use of follow focus, a fundamental tool in cinematography.


The Musketeers of Pig Alley movie scenes

The film was released on October 31, 1912 and re-released on November 5, 1915 in the United States. The film was shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey where many other early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based at the beginning of the 20th century. Location shots in New York City reportedly used actual street gang members as extras during the film.

It was also shown in Leeds Film Festival in November 2008, as part of Back to the Electric Palace, with live music by Gabriel Prokofiev, performed in partnership with Opera North.

In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The musketeers of pig alley


The film is about a poor married couple living in New York City. The husband works as a musician and must often travel for work. When returning, his wallet is taken by a gangster. His wife goes to a ball where a man tries to drug her, but his attempt is stopped by the same man who robbed the husband. The two criminals become rivals, and a shootout ensues. The husband gets caught in the shootout and recognizes one of the men as the gangster who took his money. The husband sneaks his wallet back and the gangster goes to safety in the couple's apartment. Policemen track the gangster down but the wife gives him a false alibi.


  • Elmer Booth – Snapper Kid, Musketeers gang leader
  • Lillian Gish – The Little Lady
  • Clara T. Bracy – The Little Lady's Mother
  • Walter Miller – The Musician
  • Alfred Paget – Rival Gang Leader
  • John T. Dillon – Policeman
  • Madge Kirby – The Little Lady's Friend/In Alley
  • Harry Carey – Snapper's Sidekick
  • Robert Harron – Rival Gang Member/In Alley/At Gangster's Ball
  • W. C. Robinson – Rival Gang Member (as Spike Robinson)
  • Donald Crisp - Rival Gang Member
  • Adolph Lestina – The Bartender/On Street
  • Jack Pickford – Boy Gang Member/At Dance Ball
  • Antonio Moreno – Young Man at Dance Ball who Leaves
  • unbilled

  • Gertrude Bambrick – Woman at Dance
  • Lionel Barrymore – The Musician's Friend
  • Kid Broad
  • Walter Long
  • Influence

    The Musketeers of Pig Alley is probably the first ever film about organised crime.

    In his book The Movie Stars, film historian Richard Griffith wrote of the scene where Lillian Gish passes another woman on the street (pictured):

    Griffith's camera in this scene happened to focus on the unforgettable face of the nameless girl

    in the center of the shot- and a murmurous wave swept audiences at this point in the film whenever it was shown. No one knows what became of this particular extra, but such raw material, and such camera accidents, became the stuff of stardom later on."

    In fact, the girl is Dorothy Gish, Lillian's sister.

    In the Cold Case episode Torn (Season 4.21) Lily sees the victim of a 1919 homicide in an homage to the scene of Lillian Gish passing another woman on the street (pictured).


    The Musketeers of Pig Alley Wikipedia
    The Musketeers of Pig Alley IMDb The Musketeers of Pig Alley

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