The Great Drought (1912)

Jim Harker is a landlord of the crudest type. Harker evicts the Widow Cline and her son Andy from the house which he owns because they cannot pay the rent. The community is so aroused by ... See full summary »


Colin Campbell


Lanier Bartlett (story)


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Cast overview:
Tom Santschi ... Jim Harker
Anna Dodge Anna Dodge ... Mrs. Harker
Bessie Eyton ... Helen Harker - the Daughter
Wheeler Oakman ... Andy Cline
Lillian Hayward ... The Widow Cline - Andy's Mother
Lillian Clark Lillian Clark ... Andy's Sister
Al Ernest Garcia ... Dominguez
George Hernandez George Hernandez ... Darius Wheeler
Frank Richardson Frank Richardson ... Squire Egan
James Robert Chandler ... Doctor O'Sullivan (as Robert Chandler)


Jim Harker is a landlord of the crudest type. Harker evicts the Widow Cline and her son Andy from the house which he owns because they cannot pay the rent. The community is so aroused by Harker's action that his own family is ostracized. Finally he is driven out of town entirely, and moves to the far west to try ranching. In the meantime, neighbors provide a purse to send the Clines west. It chances that the Harkers and the Clines take up land in neighboring valleys, without knowing the presence of the others. Harker goes in for ranching on a large scale. His funds are low, but he pledges his crops in payment for the installments on the land, which is held by a brutal fellow named Dominguez. An old squaw appeals to Harker for food. He uses his usual brutal measures on her, and she utters against him a terrible curse: "The drought be upon you." True, a terrible drought visits the region that season. Dominguez sees how things are going and calls for a pledge for the coming season. ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Drama | Short







Release Date:

3 October 1912 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

An unusual picture with a mystical thread in it
19 February 2017 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

There are two very interesting character portrayals in this dramatic story of a western farming country. It is an unusual picture with a mystical thread in it, for those who want to find it. Its principal character, Jim Harker (Thomas Santschi) is a hardhearted, scornful man. The object of the picture is to show the breaking down of this man's pride and the bringing of him to his knees. The means it uses, and for this we most commend it, are not mere hard luck nor, as it seems natural forces, but all that is most evil in the man unites with all that is good in a dramatic struggle which grows tenser and tenser, until just at the close of a famine-making drought, he prays. This struggle is the center of the picture and every other character in it is used solely to bring out its human qualities. Our first view of Harker shows him a hard landlord, but one who will face a mob. Next we see him a hard father to his daughter, who loves a poor man. Next he is shown as scornfully rebuking his wife for teaching his little son to pray. There is now introduced an old hag, very worthily presented, who acts as the caller down of vengeance. The author, Lanier Bartlett, deserves high praise, as also does the producer, Colin Camphell. Mrs. Harkner is Anna Dodge; the daughter, Bessie Eyton; her poor lover W. Oakman; his mother, Lillian Hayward; his sister, Lillian Clark; Domingucz, A.E. Garcia. Others who appear are Geo. Hernandez, Frank Richardson and Rob. Chandler. We wish we could tell who played the old hag. She is a very praiseworthy figure. - The Moving Picture World, October 19, 1912

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