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"The Lucky Holdup" (1912) Starring Titanic Survivor Dorothy Gibson

This 8-minute fragment of “The Lucky Holdup,” is the only surviving film featuring silent movie star and Titanic survivor Dorothy Gibson. The “lost film” was found by David Navone in the early 2000s in a sea chest that he bought at a California flea market and professionally restored by the American Film Institute. The original film is now safely archived for future generations at the Library of Congress. In the movie, Miss Barton (Dorothy) and her beau Mr. Chapin (played as usual by dapper Lamar Johnstone) find themselves caught up in a feud between their affluent families. Their fathers are partners in a brokerage firm and come to blows over a deal. While at a banquet some time later, on seeing their children dancing, the embittered old men demand the young lovers end their courtship at once. The couple, refusing to do so, elopes out West to a place “in the mountains” called Bear Gulch where they’re robbed by two bandits and taken to their hideaway. The kidnapped youths convince the robbers to send a letter with a demand for money to their respective parents, who unite in a common goal to rescue their children. The old men, on arriving at Bear Gulch, are held up by the same thieves but on awarding them a $5,000 ransom, they’re reunited with their children. The closing title card reads, “All’s well that ends well.” While Dorothy Gibson’s most famous film, “Saved From the Titanic,” in which she appeared only weeks after the sinking, is no longer known to exist, “The Lucky Holdup” may be the closest that “Titanic” and film aficionados will ever get to seeing the actress in that now legendary movie. When “The Lucky Holdup,” was first released in New York City on 11 April 1912 Dorothy was already aboard the Titanic, returning to resume her work at Éclair Film Studios after a vacation in Europe. The movie was filmed in early March 1912. It is possible some of the dresses, coats and hats worn by Dorothy in this movie were with her when she sailed from the US and were therefore still in her luggage when she started back on the “Titanic.”
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