The details of the real-life Caleb Powers murder trial have been obscured by time, but in 1908 the story was "hot" enough to inspire several films. The problem was that the intricacies of the trial were kept secret from the public, obliging the filmmakers to offer some bizarre speculations. The trade magazine Variety complained that one of these films, The Caleb Powers Trial was so poorly acted that only a person intimately familiar with the particulars of the case would have any idea what was going on. For some reason, both lawyers were depicted as hooligans, pulling revolvers from their pockets at crucial junctures in the testimony. Also, the painted courtroom backdrops were rather amateurishly done, robbing the film of even a surface credibility.
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