The life of Poe (Herbert Yost) shows the author suffering as the woman he loves is slowly dying. Poe goes out to try selling his stories. Continue reading
This three-part documentary by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill explores D.W. Griffith’s career. Continue reading
A lonely young woman lives with her strict father who forbids her to wear make-up. One day at an ice cream social, she meets a young man you seems interested in her. However, unknown to her, he is a burglar who is only interested in breaking into her father’s house. One night she is awakened by a noise. Grabbing a pistol, she enters her father’s downstairs office where she confronts a masked intruder . . . Continue reading
D.W. Griffith’s silent psychological drama based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” tells the story of a depressed young man who murders the cruel uncle who prevented his marriage to his beloved and the ensuing guilt that drives him into madness. Stars Henry B. Walthall, Blanche Sweet. AKA: “The Telltale Heart.” 84 min. Standard; Soundtrack: music score; bonus short “Edgar Allan Poe” (1909). Silent with music score. Continue reading
Way Down East (1920) is a silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. It is one of four film adaptations of the melodramatic 19th century play Way Down East by Lottie Blair Parker. There were two earlier silent versions, and one sound version in 1935, starring Henry Fonda.
Griffith’s version is particularly remembered for its exciting climax in which Lillian Gish’s character is rescued from doom on an icy river. Some sources, quoting newspaper ads of the time, say a sequence was filmed in an early color process, possibly Technicolor or Prizmacolor.
“Critical judgment remains sharply divided on Intolerance, D. W. Griffith’s most expensive and flamboyant spectacle. Those critics who pronounce the film a failure generally point to the four stories, which, they claim, are thematically too diverse to be effectively collated. Taking their cue from Eisenstein’s famous indictment, they argue that the film suffers from purposeless fragmentation and thematic incoherence. Others, notably Vachel Lindsay, Georges Sadoul, Edward Wagenknecht, and more recently Pauline Kael, list Intolerance among the masterworks, stressing its formal complexity, experimental daring, and thematic richness. René Clair, taking a middle position, writes, “it combines extraordinary lyric passages, realism, and psychological detail, with nonsense, vulgarity, and painful sentimentality.” Continue reading
Don Druker, Chicago Reader wrote:
One of D.W. Griffith’s most beautiful films, a 1919 tale of the chaste love of a Chinese man (Richard Barthelmess) for the frail daughter (Lillian Gish) of a loutish boxer. It perfectly fuses all the elements of Griffith’s style: tender drama played off against scenes of violence; a rich, operatic sense of character and emotion; and a dreamlike acting style, given particular force by the subtlety of Gish’s performance and the strength of Barthelmess’s. Continue reading