The Mystery of the Tea Dansant (1915)

Shortly after the mysterious disappearance of Marguerite Wheeler, an heiress, her mother receives a note demanding $5,000 for the girl's return. Ruth, the girl detective, assumes charge of ... See full summary »


James W. Horne


Hamilton Smith




Cast overview:
Ruth Roland ... Ruth, the Girl Detective
R. Henry Grey ... Harry Warrington (as Robert Gray)
Cleo Ridgely ... Marguerite Wheeler
Anna Lingham Anna Lingham ... Mrs. Wheeler - Marguerite's Mother
Thomas G. Lingham Thomas G. Lingham ... Marmaduke - of the Tea Dansant (as Thomas Lingham)
Knute Rahm ... Darby - Marmaduke's Victim
Edward Clisbee ... Chief of Police Harding


Shortly after the mysterious disappearance of Marguerite Wheeler, an heiress, her mother receives a note demanding $5,000 for the girl's return. Ruth, the girl detective, assumes charge of the case and advises the frantic mother to comply with the demand. Harry Warrington, whose life the girl detective had saved in a previous case, uses his political influence to secure a position on the force. He becomes Ruth's assistant. The two find that the trail leads to the Tea Dansant conducted by Marmaduke. At Ruth's suggestion, Darby, Marmaduke's assistant, is arrested and questioned. The man breaks down and confesses that Marguerite is being held a prisoner by Marmaduke, who is in financial straits. Darby relates further of how he had served time in an English prison because of Marmaduke's treachery. The man possesses a hypnotic influence over Darby, which the latter is powerless to break. The girl detective secures Darby's co-operation. The man returns to the Tea Dansant. Ruth and ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama







Release Date:

17 February 1915 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kalem Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Fourth episode in the Girl Detective 2-reel series. See more »


Followed by The Diamond Broker (1915) See more »

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User Reviews

It is distinctly good
23 September 2019 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

Pictures with the Kalem brand have a quality in a marked degree. They make exceptionally able use of the material that is given to the scenario department. For seeing not only in this picture a peculiarly clever working-up of perhaps a kind of situation that often opens a flat picture, but finding cleverness in many Kalems, one comes to suspect that it is a part of Kalem work. Either they choose their authors with more than usual discrimination on Twenty-Third Street, or they retouch their scripts with pains. The result is pleasing. This picture is a two-part detective offering in a series that is being played by Ruth Roland, Cleo Ridgeley and a cast that is above the average. It is fresh and keeps its end up while it is before the spectator. But take away from it the peculiar way in which the spectator's mind is worked upon by its preparing him to appreciate the content of its situations when it is ready to dig out for him, the picture would be just as flat as some others of a few years ago that we can recall. For example, take one of its characters, Darby, how vapid and lacking in natural interest he is. But so skillfully is he kept important that he even bores us into wondering how he came to be so weak-kneed and under the thumb of villainous Marmaduke. On account of this, when Darby begins to tell his story we are all at once interested. This crafty wetting of our interest in Darby before letting us into his secret is the best thing in the picture; it is distinctly good. It is only one interest among many and the mind is not blatantly directed to it. One is led to think the picture a story of a girl's adventure and her rescue by the society girl detective. These are in themselves interesting and being well acted and clearly told would serve alone. Here, in the foreground of this man Darby and his story, the effect they make is heightened, and they become more interesting by association with Darby's more important story. But, if the author, Hamilton Smith, or the Kalem scenario department, has taken trouble with the script, the producer, James W. Horne, has as clearly taken pains to have the action natural and convincing and has succeeded. Ruth Roland plays, as well as usual, the girl detective; Cleo Ridgeley is charming as tlie heroine; Thomas Lingham does able work as the villain; Knute Rahm succeeds as the scapegoat; Anna Lingham has a small, but well acted role, in the heroine's mother; Edward Clisbie, as the police chief, makes the picture's only laugh, which comes just at the end. The staging and photography are both commendable. - The Moving Picture World, February 13, 1915

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