The Converts (1910)

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Having moved to the California facilities of Biograph studios in late January of 1910, D.W.Griffith wasted no time getting to work. Filmed February 8 and 9, the one-reel "temperance melodrama" The Converts was shot on location at San Gabriel Mission. Henry B. Walthall tops the cast in this story of an indolent young man who, for a lark, dons the clothes and collar of a clergyman. In this guise, he preaches a mocking gospel of abstinence and virtue to an audience of prostitutes. One of the girls takes the phony preacher seriously, instantly promising to reform her wicked ways. Touched by her sincerity, the hero likewise makes an abrupt conversion to decency. The film ends as the "minister" and the ex-hooker walk off together in hopes of starting life anew.