In His Grip review

'Fine study of a strong man's struggle with his conscience -- Interesting story and good production -- Fine performance by Cecil Morton York.'

'Sir Donald MacVeigh, a big contractor, is guardian to Jessie Vicars, the daughter of an old friend, who, on his deathbed, entrusted Sir Donald with a parcel of rough diamonds to be sold for Jessie's benefit. Before Sir Donald realises on the diamonds, he has very heavy business losses, and when he discovers that the stones are worth a very large amount, he is tempted to use them for his own purposes. An attempt is made to steal the stones, which is frustrated by Sir Donald, who happened to have removed them from the safe to his own room. When the safe is found to have been tampered with, Sir Donald pretends that the diamonds have been stolen. His deception is accidentally discovered by Jessie and her lover, Sr Donald's secretary. The old man is overcome with shame, but is readily forgiven by Jessie, who desires the proceeds of the jewels to be devoted to Sir Donald's business, in which her lover is interested.'

'Produced by C.C. Calvert from a novel by David Christie Murray, this proves to be an absorbingly interesting character study of a man of high integrity, who, tempted at a critical moment of his financial career to deviate from his principles, finds that his own conscience prevents him from enjoying the result of his lapse of honour. Sir Donald MacVeigh is contractor for a big railway in South America in which most of his capital has been laid out. Before the first instalment is due to him an earthquake detroys much of the work, so that he cannot claim payment. At the same time a firm to which he has advanced a large sum fails to meet its obligations. Just as Sir Donald has realised on a portion of the diamonds left to him in trust for his ward, his bank requests an adjustment of his private balance, and for this purpose he uses the cheque which he has received from the diamond merchant. Being thus involved he is almost forced to use the remainder to keep his business going and the consequnce is a terrible struggle with his own conscience. The end of the play is a little unsatisfactory, and it almost seems a case where the old man's death would be the most dramatic solution, but there is no doubt that the interest is absorbing and increases to the climax. This is greatly due to the fine portrayal of Sir Donald MacVeigh by Cecil Morton York, who proves by this life-like character study to be a screen actor of the first rank. Natural and convincing in every look and gesture, he gives a wonderful picture of a strong and upright man beset by temptation. and without any straining after effect attains a true note of pathos. Though the other characters are merely subsidiary, the supporting cast is excellent. Miss Netta Westcott is charming as Jessie Vicars, David Hawthorne gives a pleasant perfromance of James Rutledge, and clever character sketches are supplied by Cecil du Gu

TitleIn His Grip review
SourceThe Bioscope


In His Grip