The British Hard Times ran a scant four reels, which in 1915 translated to about 60 minutes' screen time. It was hardly enough time to do full justice to its source, the multiplotted Charles Dickens novel of the same name, though it can't be faulted for trying. The basic storyline remains the same: a thief robs his brother-in-law's mill and arranges to place the blame on one of the weavers. The leading role of Tom Gradgrind was played by Leon M. Lion, later a prolific playwright and screenwriter. According to contemporary reviews, Hard Times was updated to 1915, which was closer to Dickens' time than the film itself is to ours.
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