Pay Me!

Pay Me! is a 1917 American silent drama film directed by Joe De Grasse and starring Lon Chaney.[1] In the United States, the film is also known as The Vengeance of the West.[1] Once considered to be a lost film,[2] it was rediscovered in Russia in 2019.[3][4]

Pay Me!
Directed byJoe De Grasse
Written byJoe De Grasse
Bess Meredyth
StarringLon Chaney
Dorothy Phillips
CinematographyKing D. Gray
Distributed byUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
Release date
  • September 1, 1917 (1917-09-01)
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[5] Hal Curtis (Clifford) and Joe Lawson (Chaney), partners in a mine, have a disagreement. Lawson strangles Curtis and accidentally shoots Curtis' wife. He deserts his own wife and child and elopes with Hilda Hendricks (Selbie), a weak girl of the town. As they are leaving they hear a baby's cry and find Curtis' little daughter in the arms of the dead mother. Hilda takes the child. Seventeen years pass. Lawson has changed his name to White and owns a dance hall in the heart of lumber country. The men call him "Killer" White. Marta (Phillips), his partner's child, has grown to womanhood and a lumberjack has fallen in love with her. He is chagrined at finding Marta dressed in a bizarre costume, running the roulette wheel in the Killer's establishment. Curtis wanders into camp and, recognizing Hilda, asks where his daughter is. Hilda points her out to him and he becomes enraged, vowing vengeance on the Killer. He is backed by the young lumberjack, who is none other than the son Lawson had abandoned. A fight follows and just before Lawson can kill Curtis, a shot rings out and Lawson drops. Hilda holds the gun. Before dying, Lawson tells Marta that she is not his daughter, and the two young people leave together.



Like many American films of the time, Pay Me! was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. The Chicago Board of Censors refused to issue a permit for this film because it portrayed a story of murder, abduction, and immorality.[6]

See also


  1. "Progressive Silent Film List: Pay Me!". Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  2. "Pay Me!". American Silent Feature Film Survival Database. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  3. "Двадцать вторая встреча с архивным кино в "Белых Столбах"". rewizor. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  4. "ПААТАШВИЛИ Леван Георгиевич". cinemafirst. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  5. "Reviews: Pay Me!". Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (10): 26. September 1, 1917.
  6. "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. 5 (15): 33. October 6, 1917.
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