An Unseen Enemy

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An Unseen Enemy
An Unseen Enemy.jpg
Directed byD. W. Griffith
Written byEdward Acker
StarringLillian Gish
Dorothy Gish
Harry Carey
Elmer Booth
Robert Harron
Music byRobert Israel (new score)
CinematographyG. W. Bitzer
Distributed byGeneral Film Company
Release date
  • September 9, 1912 (1912-09-09)
Running time
17 minutes
CountryUnited States
An Unseen Enemy

An Unseen Enemy is a 1912 Biograph Company short silent film directed by D. W. Griffith, and was the first film to be made starring the actresses Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish.[1] A critic of the time stated that "the Gish sisters gave charming performances in this one-reel film".[2] The film was shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey where early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based at the beginning of the 20th century.[3][4][5]



A physician's death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor's small estate to cash. It is late in the day, and with the banks closed he stores the money in his father's household safe. The slatternly housekeeper, aware of the money, enlists a criminal acquaintance to help crack the safe. They lock the daughters in an adjacent room, and the drunken housekeeper menaces them by brandishing a gun through a hole in the wall. The resourceful girls use the telephone to call their brother who has returned to town. He gets the message and organizes a rescue party.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "An Unseen Enemy at Silent Era". Silent Era. Retrieved 2007-01-27.
  2. ^ "The Biograph Collection". Still moving: the film and media collections of The Museum of Modern Art. Museum of Modern Art. 2006. p. 41.
  3. ^ Koszarski, Richard (2004), Fort Lee: The Film Town, Rome, Italy: John Libbey Publishing -CIC srl, ISBN 0-86196-653-8
  4. ^ "Studios and Films". Fort Lee Film Commission. Archived from the original on 25 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  5. ^ "Fort Lee Birthplace of the Motion Picture Industry", Fort Lee Film Commission, Arcadia Publishing, 2006, ISBN 0-7385-4501-5
  6. ^ "Plot Summary for An Unseen Enemy". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-01-27.

External links[edit]