The Chimney's Secret

The Chimney's Secret is a 1915 American silent drama film written and directed by, and featuring, Lon Chaney. It was based on a story by Milton Moore.[1]. The film is now considered to be in the public domain and a lost film. Chaney played a dual role in this film, that of George Harding (the bank cashier) and the old peddler (Harding in disguise). He wrote to his brother George Chaney at the time how proud he was of this film (since he wrote it, directed it and played two parts in it using his extensive knowledge of makeup) and sent him some memorabilia from it.[2]

The Chimney's Secret
Contemporary newspaper advertisement.
Directed byLon Chaney
Written byLon Chaney
Milton Moore
StarringLon Chaney
Gretchen Lederer
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • August 25, 1915 (1915-08-25)
Running time
1 reel
CountryUnited States


An old peddler hides money in a hidden compartment in his chimney. His neighbor Mary Ellis is taking care of her invalid sister. Mary defends the old peddler from some boys throwing stones at him. Mary has been saving her money in a bank account, planning to raise enough cash to move to a better climate with her sickly sister. Charles Harding, a cashier at the bank, steals the bank's money, causing the bank to fail. When Mary hears the bank has no money, she pounds on the door in a vain attempt to get her cash out. The peddler sees Mary pounding on the bank door and he hurries home to retrieve the money that is hidden in his chimney. Mary appears at his house and he throws the money on the floor and tells her he robbed the bank. He rips off a fake beard and wig, and reveals to her that he is Charles, the cashier. Mary begs him to give the money back to the poor people. He gives her the money, but as she leaves, he runs after her as if to get it back. Suddenly he sees Mary hovering above him in a vision, and he stumbles back to his chimney and dies.



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