- Filmed introduction by Lillian Gish, including excerpts from Gish's film Romola (1925, MGM)
- The complete text of Thomas Burke's original story
- A recording of the 1919 song "Broken Blossoms"
- D. W. Griffith on Leading Ladies
- About the score
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 30 minutes
- Video: Tinted
- Released: February 20, 2001
- Originally Released: 1919
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Additional Release Material:
- Isolated Audio Track: "Broken Blossoms" - A Recording of the 1919 Song
- Introduction: Lillian Gish - Star
- Interactive Features:
- Scene Access
- Interactive Menus
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Complete Text of Thomas Burke's Original Story
- D.W. Griffith on Leading Ladies
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Sight and Sound - 11/01/2000
"...It's Griffith at his most lyrical -- and sentimental..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
D. W. Griffith reached a pinnacle of expressiveness in this tender yet tragic tale of love and suffering in the seedy Limehouse district of London.
Richard Barthelmess gives a sensitive portrayal of a Chinese man who travels to England to spread the pacifist teachings of the Orient, but it is Lillian Gish who illuminates the screen. In this, the most heart-rending performance of her career, she plays a fifteen-year-old street urchin who longs to escape her miserable existence. Emotionally scarred by the torment and neglect of her abusive father (Donald Crisp), she collapses in the shop of the lonely and disillusioned "yellow man." As he tenderly nurses her back to health, an unspoken romance flowers between them, awakening in each of them feelings of love they thought themselves forever denied.
In some ways, Broken Blossoms was Griffith's response to critics of The Birth Of A Nation, an effort to clear himself of lingering charges of racism. However, cinematic convention forbade physical intimacy between the two races. With this in mind, Griffith took what might have been a bold interracial romance and turned it into something more ethereal: a form of cinematic poetry that engages the viewer through subtle gestures and changes of expression, meticulously choreographed and gracefully assembled.
Featuring Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp. This edition was digitally remastered from a 35mm print at the correct projection speed, with color tints and a new score by Joseph Turrin, recorded in digital stereo.
An early silent film (with a music track) which is quite effective in its almost barren simplicity. A poor Chinese man struggles to free the woman he loves. She is an abused girl living in the poor East End district of London and even when the Chinese man hides her by dressing her up in Asian costumes, his desire to help her proves useless in the face of her father's brutality.
Essential Cinema |
Love Story |
- Theatrical release: May 13, 1919.
- BROKEN BLOSSOMS was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1996.
- Louis F. Gottschalk wrote the original score for the film.