Way Down East* (Silent)

Home » emc » titles

Way Down East* (Silent)

  • 1920 ----- b & w ----- 130 min ----- withdrawn -----
  • (Directed by D. W. Griffith, screenplay by D. W. Griffith, based on the play Way Down East by Joseph R. Grismer and Lottie Blair Parker; with Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman, Burr McIntosh, Josephine Bernard, Mrs. David Landau, Mrs. Morgan Belmont, Kate Bruce, Mary Hay, Creighton Hale) The plot is Victorian, but the treatment is inspired. D.W. Griffith took a creaking, dated stage melodrama and turned it into a melodramatic epic. Lillian Gish is the girl betrayed by Lowell Sherman and eventually rescued from an icy river by Richard Barthelmess. Audiences giggle at bits here and there, but not at the sequence in which she refuses to part from her dead baby. Griffith stole from Thomas Hardy, but he stole beautifully. One of Griffith's greatest box-office successes, and a film that influenced several Russian epics.--Pauline Kael (Deposited by the generosity of Intermediate School District 110) [This is a silent film and, in order to project it correctly, it must be shown at silent speed, ie. 18 fps] (Restricted to use by institutions of learning within the State of Washington only)
  • Topics: (Drama, Literature: American, Motion Pictures: Features, Motion Pictures: History, Women Studies)