Footfalls (1921)

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Hiram Scudder (Tyrone Power, Sr.) is a blind cobbler, whose son Tommy (Tom Douglas) is in love with the pretty but ambitious Peggy Hawthorne (Estelle Taylor). When Peggy insists that Tommy go out into the world and make something of himself before she marries him, Hiram is reluctant to let his son go. Then engineer Alec Campbell (Gladden James) comes to town and Peggy flirts with him to make Tommy jealous. The two men become bitter rivals for Peggy's hand. Alec plans to abscond with his company's payroll, but he and Tommy get in a fight which sets the Scudder home on fire. Only one of them leaves the burning building alive, and it is believed that Alec was killed. Hiram, however, disagrees, claiming that he can recognize anyone by their footsteps, and that eventually Alec will return for the bag of money which he left behind. In spite of the skepticism of the townsfolk, he is right. Alec does return for the money and Hiram chokes him to death. Director Charles J. Brabin allowed two of his principals -- Tyrone Power, Sr., and Tom Douglas -- to overact. Power, who had had a long stage career and performed in some important films, including D.W. Griffith's Dream Street, should have known better. If you're wondering where Power's son, future screen luminary Tyrone Power, was when this film was being made, he was with his mother, Patia -- his parents had been divorced for several years.

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Keywords

blindness [physical], fire, handicap, murder, rival, son, witness