Cast & Crew
Masterful lion tamer Nikita purchases "Caprice," a lion that killed its trainer, Marco, and adopts Marco's little girl Lida. As Lida grows, Nikita becomes jealously protective of her, and insists that she wait motionless under the clock at the entrance to the circus while he performs his act, so he can keep an eye on her. When Lida becomes a young woman, Nikita sees a performer flirting with her and suddenly realizes how beautiful she has grown. In order to keep Lida by his side, Nikita proposes marriage to her, and she accepts out of gratitude. On the eve of their wedding, the circus hires a young magician named Trelawney as their new headliner, and he and Lida fall in love instantly. They are separated when Nikita takes Lida on a lengthy honeymoon, but when they return, Nikita discovers that the public is now more enamored of Trelawney's act than his act. In addition, Lida and Trelawney are still in love. In order to win back the public's affection, Nikita creates a new act with Caprice, in which he enters the cage handcuffed and tames the lion using only his eyes. Nikita debuts his act the same evening Trelawney closes his, and becomes distracted when he sees that Lida is not waiting under the clock. His assistant, Pietro, seeing that Nikita is losing command of the lion because he is distraught, tells Nikita where Lida is, prompting Nikita to abandon his performance. When he finds Lida and Trelawney together, he nearly kills them in a rage, but the circus manager, Korn, intervenes and insists Nikita return to complete his act. Heartbroken, Nikita purposely turns his back on the lion during the act and is killed.
This film was released originally in Great Britain as 18 Minutes by Pathé Pictures, Ltd. The lion act was performed by European lion tamer Jullin and his lions, according to copyright records. According to copyright records, the picture was filmed in England and on location at Cirque d'Hiver in Paris. Modern sources add to the production staff the following credits: Design Andre Andreiev; Editing Émile de Ruelle; Sound Michael Rose; and Sp eff Lloyd Knechtel.