The Penalty (1920) Movie Script

From the story of COUNERNEUR MORRIS
A victim of the city
It was young Dr. Feris'
first serious case.
The injured child is still
I unconscious of his fate.
I dared not wait any longer.
I amputated both legs
above the knee.
There is a contusion at the
base of the skull.
Good God! You should
not have amputated!
You have mangled this
poor child for life.
His father and mother...
My poor boy, I will do
what I can for you.
I shall lie for you, and
may Got forgive me.
Only immediate amputation
could save your child's life.
I heard them say...
He imagines he heard us. It's the
effect of the ether.
He lies! He lies!
Twenty seven years later... San
Francisco is the richest city
in the western world.
She has one hideous blemish...
The Barbary Coast.
Barbary Nell.
Frisco Pete.
Blizzard, lord and master
of the underworld.
Lichtenstein, of the Federal
Secret Service.
Rose, his most daring
Rose, this detail I'm offering you
is so dangerous, I hope
you will turn it down.
It' s always Blizzard,
that cripple from Hell.
Do you remember sweet Barbary
Nell who wandered from our fold?
She' s dead!
I could get him for theft, arson,
murder, but his criminal machine
would still grind on.
Through the Master I must
reach his slave, the
underground powers of the Reds.
He' s gathered up his dance hall girls
and he' s put them to work in his house,
making hats, thousands of hats.
I must know why!
"I believe Blizzard is hatching
something so big,
it endangers the city.
I must find out what!
By the way, Barbary Nell, who
strayed from us, now sleeps
upon a marble stab...
... in the morgue.
Blizzard' s favorite for
the moment.
A woman who enters that den
risks worse than death.
That' s all in the day' s work.
... and I shall walk
as men walk.
I shall be the master of a city!
"And for my mangled years
the city shall pay me...
... with the pleasures of a Nero
and the powers of a Caesar!
But you won' t live to see it...
if you don' t pedal better.
It means living in that devil' s house
till you find out what he' s up to.
Of course. Well, I' m game.
Dr. Ferris, now the most famous
surgeon in his line.
Dr. Wilmot Allen, his assistant.
Blizzard had agents
in strange places.
Barbara asked me to call for her.
The surgeon' s daughter Barbara,
had dedicated herself to Art.
I' m dreadfully discouraged.
I have done nothing worth
Some day she will realize
that this is all nonsense.
Sorry you have to go.
Haven' t I waited long enough?
Why don' t you chuck it, Barbara?
Not until I have done at least one
thing that is worth doing.
And I' m going to do Satan,
after the fall'.
If I fail...
... I will marry you.
Nothing to report.
Blizzard keeps
plans to himself.
His people obey orders not
knowing their meaning.
My knowledge of music...
...has been my protection.
He likes my pedaling.
Rose has been there a week...
and she' s learned nothing.
You' re a find!
You are not afraid of me...
you look me in the eyes.
How could I be afraid...
when you play like that?
You are a find!
WANTED - Model to pose of
"Satan After the Fall".
If you thing look like Satan,
apply at studio of Barbara Ferris,
32 Institute Place.
Be in front of that studio
tomorrow and see that no
applicant but myself enters it.
Everything comes to
him who waits.
You have mangled this
poor child for life.
Do I look like Satan?
Before I am through with her
and her father, they' think
I' m the devil himself.
9 A.M, Barbara' s Studio
at 32 Institute Place.
Model already engaged.
Bubbles, a street waif whom
Barbara has befriended.
Whenever Blizzard was absent,
Rose hunted for clues.
Some excellent judges think
that I resemble Satan.
If there is enough of me.
I seem to please.
I knew about when I was
bumming the streets
cat-throat' s his middle name.
You ought not touch
him with a pole.
Gawd! Look at that face!
If I could catch that
expression in the day...
I' d be famous.
How do you happen
to know so much
about Art?
My father, who shall
be nameless, was a
distinguished man.
But he detested little boys with
their legs clipped off. So at
fifteen I hoppled out of his life.
I could write a better
treatise on sculpture
Why do you live in
the underworld?
When Satan fell from
Heaven he looked for
power in Hell.
Hugely satisfied with
his morning s work.
Rose, my dear!
Under the piano my darling...
we will have some music.
I have a feeling I shall
waft you into Heaven.
A death song, Rose!
Rose was my best bet...
so far she' s learned nothing.
"I could not have played that
way without your help.
Go back to work...
I can murder anything
but music.
Days passed and the clay grew
into the image of the man
who was like Satan...
Into a face clothed with
evil intent.
In time man would mangle
the soul of the daughter,
even as the father had mangled
the body of the man.
The end of this passage
is barred by a gate
but through it
I could see what...
But the most remarkable
of all is a fully-equipped
operating room.
If you say it' s good,
I know it' s good.
But she hesitated for
this would mean the
end of Blizzard.
I know of Dr. Allen...
and of his great master,
Dr. Ferris."
I will come tomorrow
at the same time.
What an admirable
pair of legs.
I gave mine to science.
That monster ought
to be chloroformed and
put out of the way.
He shows me only
courtesy and helpfulness.
The end of this passage is barred
by a gate,
but through it I could see what...
Doctor Ferris investigates.
May I talk with
Mr. Blizzard alone?
I have followed every step of your
career, and you have indeed profited
by your early mistakes.
You were the child
whose life I ruined?
Don' t let that trouble
you too deeply.
It is now in your power
to repair your error.
Command me in any way...
But don' t come here
any more.
Only your daughter' s request
can keep me away. She is
making a masterpiece.
Barbara, let me tell
you a story.
He lies! He did not have
to cut them off.
Behind his visits there
is some sinister motive.
I can read it his eyes.
If you have made him
what he is, it is all the
more our duty to help him.
Blizzard' s man O'Hagan,
his back in town.
He has organized thousands
of disgruntled foreign
Hats and men... what' s
the devil up to?
Blizzard' s chief lieutenant,
You have worked in the
dark long enough...
this is the plan I have been
developing for two years.
2 December
At twelve noon on that
day I shall loot the City
of San Francisco.
Your 10.000 foreign malcontents
will filter into the city in
small detachments.
The signal will be an
By fire and riots I shall
draw the police and
military into the suburbs.
The heart of the city
will be left defenseless...
ours to loot at will.
And then we shall
vanish with our
You talk as if you
had legs! By God!
You have gone mad!
Perhaps... but with the
madness that succeeds!
Better come out of that
closet or I will begin to
Crying won' t help...
talking may.
What the' re going kill
me anyhow.
I doubt it...
you' re the best pedaler
I ever had.
But the most remarkable of all is a
fully equipped operating room.
You see, you haven' t
been allowed to do
much damage.
I think I' m glad.
Don' t you see?
With exultation he felt the
power that his mind was
gaining over Barbara.
You are the best critic
in the world.
Live your own life...
go where I shall point...
to your place among the stars.
How am I ever going to
thank you the help
you have given me?
When you have finished
that, don' t give me op.
I love you, Barbara,
with my whole heart
and soul.
At her laugh his Hell - born
loose passions broke.
But almost instantly
he knew that he
had blundered...
...and like a good
general tried retrieve
his mistake.
I am the unhappiest
beast in the world.
Forgive me having
dared to lift my thoughts
to you.
Laughter burns a
cripple like acid.
I don' t know why I laughed.
You frightened me.
Will you forgive me?
I have come to prescribe
a little, Barbara.
Call me a taxi.
True women need love, a
home, children. He has
made you forget that.
I will marry you, dear,
whenever you wish.
After a night of jealous
fury, the Beast takes
Hello Doctor, this is Bubbles.
It' s about Barbara...
she' s gone to
Blizzard' s house.
I do not know why she
went. She was crying.
He will run all the way...
on those magnificent
Once before a woman
surfeited me with her
She' s dead!
Rose just shows herself
at the window and nods...
and that' s all.
Where is Miss Ferris?"
She is probably in
her room.
Shall I search your
house, or will you
take me to her?
Listen, my baffled hero...
if you wish the lady
to go free...
... you must hand over
to me your superb legs.
Dr. Ferris will cut them
off for you.
Then he will graft
them to me.
They will be very
Your daughter is in my
house. She has been
hurt. Cowmen at once.
That fairy tale about your
daughter was merely to make
certain that you' d come.
You' ve played the trick with apes...
now I' m putting human beings
at your service.
Your victim is fulfilling
destiny in making you the
master surgeon of the world.
You must make it possible...
unless you would have
your charming daughter
married to these.
Out of my house is not
out of my power...
that' s here.
Suppose you and your assistant
should disappear...
then your daughter and I...
Give me legs and I will
be a model son-in-law.
Then I will be a tower
of strength...
I will be a Caesar!
You are right...
you' d be a superman!
I will do it!
Doctor Ferris' sudden decision
to operate brought about
starling results.
I have waked from a
terrible dream!
I was a devil...
I did things that I
shudder to think of!
What' s happened...
you did not do what he
That was a madman' s
I operated on his head.
There is a contusion at
the base of the skull.
That caused pressure
on the brain...
he has never been wholly
responsible for his acts.
This man, let alone may become
as great a power for
good as he was for evil.
He shall have the chance.
The tyrant' s hand relaxed...
the whirlwind breaks.
he old Blizzard is no more.
I have assumed my real name
In my madness I built power
from evil. I shall undo my
I am still your friend,
but it must be for
better things.
He' s got religion...
that means he will
raise Hell!
How do we know he
won' t snitch on us?
If we don' t finish him,
he will finish us.
The New Man...
and his wife.
We shall do great things
Fate chained me to Evil...
for that I must
pay the Penalty.
"That is a great puzzle,
Perhaps I am going to
see it solved.
Don' t grieve, dear...
death interests me.
All that' s left of him...
an evil mask of a great soul.
The End