The White Sister (1923)

The White Sister (1923)

Director: Henry King Writers: Francis Marion Crawford (novel) George V. Hobart Release Date: 1925 (Austria) LILLIAN GISH! What a flood of pleasant memories rushes along at the mere mention of her name! YOU sympathized with her in "The Birth of a Nation." YOU suffered with her in "Hearts of the World." YOU pitied her in "Broken Blossoms." YOU cried over her in "Orphans of the Storm." YOU actually cheered her in "Way Down East." Now when you see her in Henry King's production of "The White Sister" you will be thrilled, captivated, and exalted as never before. A young woman becomes a nun when she believes her sweetheart has been killed, but things get complicated when he returns alive. "The White Sister," the picture recently finished by Lillian Gish in Rome. Sorrento and other Italian places, was unfolded last night upon the screen of the Forty-fourth Street Theatre before a most interesting assembly, which included persons prominent in society, distinguished politicians, well-known authors and writers, screen celebrities and heads of the motion picture industry. It seemed an occasion which revealed the standing of the films possibly more than any other photoplay presentation. The production itself is a notable one, an artistic effort on which the producers seem to have leaned backward to cling to the sterling worth of the picture, which was entirely made in Italy under the direction of Henry King. It was a difficult task to undertake as it is a love story with little or no comedy relief, and one in which the heavy part is taken by a woman. The picturesque surroundings in most of the scenes lend some contrast to the story of a great love between Angela Chiaromonte, played by Lillian Gish, and Captain Giovanni Severi (Ronald Colman). It is a serious, enthralling narrative of a young girl who, believing her fiancé dead, takes the veil as a nus???. A remarkable and successful effort at characterization is made in several instances by the director and the players. The latter actually appear to live the parts they enact on the screen. There is also pictured a beautiful contrast between the lives of the Captain and Angela—the former having a great adventure and the latter living for a time in a modest???, quiet way in an Italian town, with the love of Giovanni as a solace. Despite the fact that this is a story of emotions and tears, Miss Gish's acting is always restrained. She obtains the full effect in every situation, being, as the Italians say, sympatico in all sequences. Giovanni, it is true, is not brought out in a very good light at the inception of the story, as he has had an affair with the Marchesa di Mola, which he tells her cannot continue. Angela, hated by the Marchesa, falls in love with Giovanni, who immediately reciprocates her affection. There is a splendid series of scenes showing the élite of that section of the world following the hounds at a hunt. Prince Chiaromonte, Angela's father, is thrown from his horse, and eventually dies. This sequence is a thrilling one as the photographs show the open country and the pack of hounds, with the men and women on their mounts. The Prince had desired to unite his family with the del Ferice family by the marriage of his daughter to Alfredo, but these plans are upset by the stealing and burning of the Prince's will by the Marchesa. So for a brief time the path of love seems free to Giovanni and Angela. Suddenly Giovanni receives orders to take an expedition to Africa. Here there are some realistic scenes of Arabs, the desert and camels. The small band under Giovanni is set upon and, according to the news received in Italy soon afterward, all are slain. Angela is plunged into a state of hopeless grief by the report of the death of Giovanni. There seems to be no hope and she is taken to a hospital, where the white nuns nurse her. An artist paints a picture of Giovanni, and Angela is seen patting the head on the painting and kissing the face. Hope abandoned, after talking with Mgr. Saracinesca Angela decides that she wants to do something to help in the world and she becomes a novitiate and finally is "wedded to the Church." The last step precludes her ever giving up the veil, of which she is warned. (Source The New York Times) Lillian Gish ... Angela Chiaromonte Ronald Colman ... Capt. Giovanni Severini Gail Kane ... Marchesa di Mola J. Barney Sherry ... Monsignor Saracinesca Charles Lane ... Prince Chiaromonte Juliette La Violette ... Madame Bernard Gustavo Serena ... Prof. Ugo Severi (as Signor Serena) Alfredo Bertone ... Filmore Durand Roman Ibanez ... Count del Ferice Alfredo Martinelli ... Alfredo del Ferice Ida Carloni Talli ... Mother Superior (as Carloni Talli)


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