Tag Archives: Lillian Gish

D.W. Griffith – True Heart Susie (1919)

True Heart Susie is one of D.W. Griffith’s “pastoral” films, wherein plot takes second
place to characterization and romance. Lillian Gish plays Susie May Trueheart, who
so loves local boy William Jenkins (Robert Harron) that she secretly finances his
education.
As it stands, the film’s dramatic and heart-tugging value has not diminished,
not even after the passage of nearly eighty years. Read More »

D.W. Griffith – A Romance of Happy Valley (1919)

Since much of this film takes place in rural Kentucky, where director D.W. Griffith grew up, it no doubt has many autobiographical touches. Since the setting was so close to his heart, that may be why this simple and winsome picture is one of Griffith’s most charming creations. With complete lack of pretension, it tells the story of John Logan Jr. (Robert Harron), an ambitious young inventor who is determined to be a success. So he heads for the big city to achieve his dream of making a toy frog that actually swims. Not that he hasn’t had opposition — his sweetheart, Jennie Timberlake (Lillian Gish, in a rare showing of her comic ability) and his parents (George Fawcett and Kate Bruce) have done everything they could to make him stay. Although he promises to return in a year’s time, John gets caught up in the temptations of the city, including a flirtation with a spirited young lady (Carol Dempster in her first credited role). Read More »

Victor Sjöström – The Wind (1928)

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TCM review
Lillian Gish’s reputation may have been established in several historic D.W. Griffith pictures, but she usually ended up playing a very talented second fiddle to Griffith’s legend as a film pioneer. Nevertheless, Gish’s genius is most readily apparent in Victor Seastrom’s The Wind (1928), a psychologically-charged character study that hinges on her arsenal of small, telling gestures. This is one of the classic performances of silent cinema, and it came at a time when talkies were on the verge of burying the silents forever. Read More »

Lindsay Anderson – The Whales of August (1987)

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Lindsay Anderson’s The Whales of August stars silent film legend Lillian Gish, in her 95th year, and Bette Davis, 79, as widowed sisters, one warm and supportive, the other cold and cantankerous, who have been coming to a small cottage on the Maine seacoast for sixty years. Every August, they watch the journey of the whales passing in the nearby waters together but the sense is that this may be their last summer together. Knowing that their time is limited, the siblings attempt to resolve long-standing differences but face many obstacles. The Whales of August takes place during the course of a single day and the camera stays mostly inside the house except to follow the sisters on occasional walks to the ocean. It all sounds static but there is a great deal of emotion churning beneath the surface.
Read More »

D.W. Griffith – The Birth of a Nation [+extras] (1915)

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The Birth of a Nation – 1915
(from imdb)
Two brothers, Phil and Ted Stoneman, visit their friends in Piedmont, South Carolina: the family Cameron. This friendship is affected by the Civil War, as the Stonemans and the Camerons must join up opposite armies. The consequences of the War in their lives are shown in connection to major historical events, like the development of the Civil War itself, Lincoln’s assassination, and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Read More »

John S. Robertson – Annie Laurie (1927)


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Plot: The story of the famous battle between the Scots clans of Macdonald and Campbell, and the young woman who comes between them, Annie Laurie. Read More »