Tag Archives: Lillian Gish

D.W. Griffith – Orphans of the Storm [B&W] (1921)

Just prior to the French Revolution, Henriette takes step-sister Louise to Paris in hopes of curing her blindness. Lustful aristocrat de Praille has virginal Henriette abducted and brought to his estate, leaving Louise helpless in the big city. An honorable aristocrat (Schildkraut) helps Henriette escape from de Praille. Scoundrel Mother Frochard forces Louise to beg in the streets. Unable to find Louise, Henriette gives shelter to admirable politician Danton after he’s attacked, and she also runs afoul of radical revolutionary Robespierre. Read More »

D.W. Griffith – The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)

A tender young woman and her husband (a musician) attempt to eke out a living in the slums of New York City, but find themselves caught in the crossfires of gang violence. Read More »

D.W. Griffith – An Unseen Enemy (1912)

The physician’s death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor’s small estate to cash. But it is late in the day, and with the banks closed he stores the money in his father’s household safe. The slatternly housekeeper, aware of the money, enlists a criminal acquaintance to crack the safe. She attempts to get into the adjacent room where the sisters tremble in fear, but finds that the door is locked. The drunken housekeeper menaces them by brandishing a gun through a hole in the wall. But the resourceful girls use the telephone to call their brother who has returned to town. He gets the message and organizes a rescue party. Read More »

D.W. Griffith – The Mothering Heart (1913)

A young couple struggle to get ahead, the wife always assuaging the troubles of her melancholy husband. As he climbs the ladder of success, he abandons the homely values and takes up with another woman. His wife leaves him, returning to her mother’s home where she bears a child. When the husband is abandoned by his concubine, remorse drives him to find his wife… Read More »

Lindsay Anderson – The Whales of August (1987)

Quote:
Summer people in Maine: things are changing. Whales no longer pass close to the shore as they did during the youth of two elderly widowed sisters who have a seaside home where they’ve summered for 50 years. Libby is blind, contrary, and seemingly getting ready to die. Sarah is attentive to her sister, worried about continuing to care for her, and half interested in an old Russian aristocrat who fishes from their shore. It’s the eve of Sarah’s 46th wedding anniversary. The Russian offers some fish he’s caught, Sarah invites him to dinner, and Libby gets her back up. Sarah wonders if it isn’t time to sell the place and find a home for Libby. What alternatives do old people have? Read More »

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 »