~Restless Souls~
1922
~Vitagraph photograph of Earle Williams in
"Restless Souls," 1922~
~Plot Synopsis~
This routine programmer, based on the novel Playing Dead by Richard Harding Davis, was one of
many pictures that tried to cash in on the spiritualism craze inspired by author Arthur Conan Doyle.
Lida Parkington (Francelia Billington) spends so much time studying the occult that her husband
James (Earle Williams) begins to think she's in love with an effeminate spiritualist lecturer, Edgar
Swetson (Arthur Hoyt). James decides to fake his death so that Lida is free to wed Swetson, but
inevitably, complications arise. His final will cannot be found, and the earlier one which is found
bequeaths everything to his aunt, Mrs. Fortescue (Martha Mattox). The newly-rich aunt decides to
spend fifty thousand dollars on a preserve for sparrows, and the greedy Swetson easily transfers his
affections to her. While Swetson and Mrs. Fortescue are off being wed, a disguised Parkington is
trying to locate his most recent will, although his dog keeps seeing through his disguise. His identity
comes out in the open, and Lida is overjoyed that he is still alive (as is his dog). Incidentally, the dog,
a bull terrier billed as Pal, was likely the same one regularly used in the first entries to the Our Gang
series.

Plot Synopsis by Janiss Garza, Allmovie.com

James Parkington, finding that Lida, his wife, is more absorbed in Swetson, a neosymbolist lecturer,
than she is in him, resolves to feign a suicide to secure her happiness. Although Parkington has willed
his estate to Lida, Maria Fortescue, his aunt, lays claim to the estate upon his "death." Learning that
Maria has inherited the estate, Swetson turns his attentions to her. Parkington, eager to know the
results of his scheme, comes out of seclusion in disguise and visits the home, where he is recognized
by his dog. He overhears a discussion of a second will, restores the original will, and, when discovered
by Maria and Swetson, orders them from the house. Swetson reveals that he is married to Maria, and
Parkington and Lida are reconciled.

Plot Synopsis from AFI.com
Directed by: Robert Ensminger

Written by:
Calder Johnstone - writer
Fred Schaefer - writer

Based on the short story "Playing Dead," by Richard Harding Davis in
Metropolitan Magazine (Mar 1915).
~Cast~

Earle Williams ...  James Parkington
Francelia Billington ...  Lida Parkington
Arthur Hoyt ...  Edgar Swetson
Martha Mattox ...  Mrs. Fortescue
Nick Cogley ...  Uncle Ben
~Remaining Credits~

Produced by: Vitagraph Company of America

Distributed by: Vitagraph Company of America

Cinematography by: George Robinson
Presenter: Albert E. Smith

Length: 5 Reels
Released: May 28, 1922
.