“Broken Blossoms” – By Mae Tinee (Chicago Tribune – 1919)
“Broken Blossoms” – By Mae Tinee (Chicago Tribune – 1919)
Chicago Tribune – Saturday, May 31, 1919 – Page 14
Again Mr. Griffith Shows ‘Em How It Should Be Done
Produced and directed by D.W. Griffith
Presented at the Illinois
The Girl …………………….…..…. Lillian Gish
“Battling” Burrows ………….. Donald Crisp
The Chinaman …….. Richard Barthelmess
Evil Eye …………………….…….. Edward Peil
A prize fighter ……….…….. Norman Selby
The Spying One …..……. George Beranger
By Mae Tinee
The D.W. Griffith repertory season started auspiciously last night at the Illinois with “Broken Blossoms,” adapted from the story by Thomas Burke.
At the risk of repeating one’s self, it is still necessary to say that Mr. Griffith is in a class all by himself. He has a number of worthy followers in the directorial line who put out excellent pictures – so good you wonder if, perhaps the master has not rivals. The answer comes when with a production like “Broken Blossoms” the wizard turns himself loose and shows what he really can do.
Realizing the psychological effect of surroundings on the plastic mind, the Illinois theater has been touched by a discerning wand and transformed into a bower of flowers and rosy lights. Beautiful houris in the shimmering raiment of the orient precede you to your seat and hand you your quaint program. Incense and music combine to lure you into harmony with the picture. Of which, somebody remarked upon hearing the presentation:
“I wonder if that story can be put upon the screen? It’s a dangerous theme – the love of a yellow man for a white girl – and would have to be treated with the same exquisite delicacy and sureness of touch the author used in order to make the picture in any way possible.”
Well, it could not have been more beautifully handled. Richard Barthelmess as the lonely Chinese lad who comes to London to convert the Anglo-Saxons to the theories of the gentle Buddha, and there meets disillusionment, love and death, gives a marvelous presentation.
Surely this stolid, intense, sensitive, passionate, disappointed, sad-eyed watchful oriental could never have played in the comedies! Yet it was only last week you saw him lending merriment to a Dorothy Gish picture. He gave me the surprise of my young life, I’ll admit. I didn’t think he had it in him.
And Lillian Gish. It has been that now you like her and now you don’t. This time, however, there can be no question about her. She is a poor little cockney, the ward of a prize fighter whom she calls “Daddy.” It is upon this helpless waif that daddy vents the rage of his black moments – using the rawhide with skill born of long practice. One of these beatings brings her to the Chinaman’s door step, where she falls, spent with pain.
Hunger, agony, terror, helplessness, timid gratitude to the first person who has ever been kind to her – the Chinese boy – are all portrayed by Miss Gish with startling realism. You are sick with pity for her. You admit it – and that shows how wonderful she is.
As to Donald Crisp as the prize fighter, you must hand him a medal for work well done. And then you’d like to forget him. The minor parts are all excellently played.
The picture has a rather novel color scheme – Chinese blue. Awfully effective. It is characterized by the artistic settings, splendid photography and keen attention to detail that always mark a Griffith production.
My one and only criticism would be that at the start the action is too slow. It takes you a long while to get into the story.
Gish and Davis: Could the Two Work Together? – By Mike Kaplan (The New York Times – 1993) FILM; Gish and Davis: Could the Two Work Together? By Mike Kaplan The New York Times – April 18, 1993 When “The Whales of August” was filmed in 1986, the story of the relationship between two elderly sisters brought together two of the screen’s most enduring stars, Lillian Gish and Bette Davis. Miss Gish, who died Feb. 27 at the age of 99, will be remembered on Thursday at the Museum of Modern Art with a program called “In Memoriam.” It will include “The Whales of August,” her final film, directed by Lindsay Anderson, as well as her first, D. W. Griffith’s “Unseen Enemy” (1912). Here, Mike Kaplan, who co-produced “The Whales of August,” reflects on the interaction of its two stars. Bette Davis and Lillian Gish – The Whales of August, 1987 In the tributes to Lillian Gish that followed her death, references to her final starring role in “The Whales of August” were always glowing. B
The Movie Magazines and Lillian Gish … The moving Picture World 1914 detail The moving Picture World 1914 The moving Picture World 1914 detail Moving Picture World, November 21, 1914 Her Awakening – Lillian Gish The Angel of Contention Poster The moving Picture World – Mutual Program – A Question of Courage names wrong Lillian Gish And Dorothy The moving Picture World – Mutual Program – The Sisters The Birth of a Nation (David W. Griffith Corp., 1915). Herald2 Sold for Marriage Triangle Plays Program 1916 lillian_gish_photoplay_1917 08 ID Photo Back to Lillian Gish Home page Photoplay, August, 1918 – Dorothy and Lillian Gish in their dressing room Lillian Gish Photoplay August 1918 Lillian Gish Photoplay February 1919 Lillian Gish Photoplay, July, 1919 Back to Lillian Gish Home page Lillian Gish Photoplay October 1920 Orphans of The Storm Prog Herald 1921 Lillian Gish 1921 – The Girl Back Home Motion Picture Classic Magazine (Brewster, 1921) The Lily Maid from Ohio Ph
When Mamaroneck Upstaged Hollywood – By Bruce Berman (The New York Times – June 19, 1977) When Mamaroneck Upstaged Hollywood By Bruce Berman The New York Times – June 19, 1977 BACK in the early 1920’s when Mamaroneck was a center of movie‐making, Joseph Rigano was an employee of D.W. Grif fith’s studio at Orienta. “I was atone mason and mechanic,” the energetic 80year‐old said as we toured on foot Edgewater Point, at the top of the Orienta Peninsula. Griffith Studios, Orienta Point, Mamaroneck NY 1921 “After the studio was finally built, Mr. Griffith asked me to stay on as a set builder. Stone fireplaces were my specialty, but I worked on everything from Gothic walls to painted desert backdrops. The actors were almost always friendly, and I was getting $55 a week and drove a $1,200 Buick. What more could a young man desire?” DW Griffith filming team – Mamaroneck NY – Way Down East In those days the area was less the “East Coast Hollywood” than Hollywood was “the West Co