Suicide Bridge: The Movie! (very early indie film in Chicago)

In 1916, members of the high-society Casino Club decided to make their own photoplay – “Cousin Jim and the Lost Fraternity Pin.” It was a story of a country boy who comes to the big city, and was to end with two characters plunging from “suicide bridge,” the high bridge over the Lincoln Park lagoon.

A professional swimmer was brought in as a stunt man and offered $250 (a heck of a lot in 1916 money) to take the jump, but he determined that it was impossible, the water being only 10 feet feep. The two stars, however, figured they could just do it themselves and ran up to the top of the bridge. A squirell set up shop nearby, leading a man below to remark “That’s a wise squirrel. Coupla nuts up there.”

The two men made the drop and calmly swam to shore, one of them remarking (quote) “Where in blank is my hat?”

The movie is listed in various movie guides as simply “Cousin Jim,” but we can’t seem to find a surviving copy. Got one?

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