| Directed by |
Hennig Berger's play, "Syndafloden"
Scenario by J. G. Hawks
Billy Bear is a young cotton Broker in Cottonia, a wealthy town on the banks of the Mississippi. When he learns that his grouchy employer, Frazer, is secretly trying to corner the cotton market he uses that knowledge to enter into partnership with Frazer's enemy on the cotton exchange, Swift. They make money! Billy breaks off his with Poppy, a chorus girl with whom he had been in love and plans to marry Swift's daughter.
Billy Tells Poppy of His Engagement.
Richard Dix as Billy Bear.
Stratton's Cafe is a popular spot with the cotton brokers. In order to protect the cafe in the event of a flood, as the town is below the river level, Stratton, had water-tight doors and shutters put on his cafe. On the day of the wedding Billy, Poppy, Frazer, Swift, a street preacher with a taste for alcohol, a tramp who is just a plain drunk, a stranded Swedish engineer, an out-at-elbows actor, a corporation lawyer, Stratton and his bartender are all imprisoned in the cafe by the flood, of which all Cottonia had lived in fear. With the levee down, it appears that the entire town is to be submerged. The doors and shutters on Stratton's cafe are hermetically sealed.
But For Once They Couldn't Throw Him Out.
L. H. King as "Levee Louie"
The ticker, the telephone and the electric lights are soon cut off. Nordling, the engineer, figures that in twenty hours when the oxygen becomes exhausted, all will die. The oxygen grows less and less, and the prisoners find it more difficult to breathe. O'Neill tells them that the last day has come and exhorts them to repentance. They join hands in a circle of brotherly love.
O'Neill Warns of Destruction.
James Kirkwood, as O'Neill the Preacher.
Faced by death, all of the characters undergo a reformation. Frazer forgives Billy and Swift for their efforts to ruin him financially. O'Neill discovers the corporation lawyer is the man who stole his wife and drove him from the pulpit. In the presence of death he forgives. Sharpe, the attorney, confesses that he had bribed the contractor building the levee to use faulty material. Billy Bear finds his love for Poppy reviving and they prepare to meet death in each other's arms. The bartender confesses that he had stolen money from the till, and Stratton forgives him, and in turn confesses that he had underpaid the bartender.
After 20 Years as Foes
Ralph Lewis as Frazer the Cotton Broker
The Preacher Tell His Love Story
Helene Chadwick as Poppy of the Chorus
The prisoners find increased difficulty in breathing. They decide to open the flood-proof doors and let the waters pour in, rather than die the slow death of suffocation. The door is swung back and sunshine bursts into the room. The street is bathed in sunlight. The freak flood has subsided.
Cottonia is resuming its normal life. The ticker starts.
With the return of safety, the spirit of brotherly love passes and human selfishness again becomes dominant. Frazer sees that Billy and Swift are still hammering him on the exchange. His enmity returns. Stratton forces his guests to pay for the wine; tells the bartender that he will hold out on his salary until his thefts have been made up. The bartender throws out the drunk, the Swede and the actor whom, in the danger of death he had loved as brothers. O'Neill, the street preacher, again surrenders to his appetite for liquor. Billy Bear forgets Poppy in his interest in the ticker's quotations but when he sees her accosted on the street by a man, and on the point of accepting his invitation to have a drink, he rushes her to the marriage license bureau.
They Turn to Prayer in Their Fear.
John Steppling as Swift the Speculator.
The Circle of Brotherly Love Awaits the End.
Darwin Karr as Charlie