Described by its parent studio Biograph as a "French Revolution melodrama," Nursing a Viper runs a thrill-packed 920 feet (or roughly twelve minutes). Arthur V. Johnson stars as a French aristocrat who is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause. Johnson provides shelter to another aristocrat, who has been slated for the guillotine. He is "rewarded" for his kindness when the fugitive tries to rape his benefactor's wife. Rather than deal with the duplicitous aristo himself, Johnson decides to turn the man over to the mobbing peasants, who mete out a terrible retribution. Partially filmed in Englewood, New Jersey, Nursing a Viper can be seen as a dry run for D.W. Griffith's more ambitious feature Orphans of the Storm.
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