- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 42 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: June 21, 2011
- Originally Released: 1921
- Label: Grapevine Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Carol Dempster stars as Gypsy Fair, a music-hall dancer in the Limehouse section of London. She attracts the eye of roughhouse bully Spike McFadden (Ralph Graves). But his shy composer brother Billy (Charles Emmett Mack) is also in love with her.
On a character-filled street in London's squalid Limehouse district, the love of vivacious dance hall hostess Gypsy Fair (Carol Dempster), is competed for by local bully Spike McFadden (Ralph Graves) and his sensitive composer brother Billy (Charles Emmet Mack). An evil Chinese gambling den operator (Edward Piel) also lusts after the girl, and when his attempt at seduction fails, he tries to frame her for the murder of one of his employees. This surreal silent film by producer-director D.W. Griffith is heavy on the symbolism, with characters each meant to represent some aspect of the human psyche: a street preacher symbolizes the conscience, a masked violinist represents temptation, the Chinese gambler represents evil, etc. Lots of hallucinatory moments and gauzy close-ups of Dempster's face work to make the film seem like a dream. The story is taken from the book LIMEHOUSE NIGHTS by Thomas Burke, from which Griffith also took the material for his much more successful BROKEN BLOSSOMS.
This surreal silent film written, produced and directed by D.W. Griffith is set on a symbolic London street representing the human condition. A street preacher symbolizes the conscience, a violin-playing trickster represents tempation, a lustful Chinese man represents murder, and yet another character represents brotherly love. When two brothers fall in love with the same woman, all of these spirits exert their influence over the poverty-stricken Londoners.
- Theatrical release: April 12, 1921.
- When the film ran at Town Hall in New York, Griffith experimented with an early attempt at sound by synching recordings to certain scenes of this film. The soundtrack was recorded on discs and synched to the lip movements, a process developed by Orlando E. Kellum. It was not a sucess at the time, though it serves as yet another example of Griffith being ahead of his time.