Way Down East (Silent)
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- Print Details - 1930 Griffith Revision
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: September 28, 2004
- Originally Released: 1920
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Performer:||Lowell Sherman, Mary Hay, Creighton Hale & Richard Barthelmess|
|Directed by||D.W. Griffith|
|Edited by||Rose Smith & James Smith|
|Music by||Paul David Bergel|
|Screenwriting by||Joseph R. Grismer, D.W. Griffith & Anthony Paul Kelly|
|Composition by||Louis Silvers & William F. Peters|
|Produced by||D.W. Griffith|
|Director of Photography:||Henrik Sortov & Billy Bitzer|
"...The film remains a bruising attack on the sexual double standard..."
"...An enormously popular movie....[With] one of cinema's most famous scenes..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
On her first visit to rich relatives in the big city, starry-eyed country waif Anna Moore (Lillian Gish) is easy prey for a scheming womanizer who cons her out of her virginity with a staged "marriage." He later walks out on his pregnant "wife," telling her the sordid truth that the marriage ceremony was a sham. After her baby dies, she is driven to wandering the streets in shame and destitution.
Alone and desperate, Anna begs door to door for work until she is taken in as a servant by a pious, hard working farm family. Just as it appears that she is beginning to turn her life around, her past catches up to her. The shocked patriarch of the household that gave her shelter now drives her from his home into a raging blizzard, where she is soon lost, dazed and adrift on a runaway ice floe racing downriver toward a waterfall and her doom.
Master storyteller D.W. Griffith, the great pioneer of early American cinema, tackles complex themes of prejudice, judgement, sexual inequality and redemption in a film that builds brilliantly from an intimate, emotionally charged personal melodrama to a breathtakingly epic cliffhanger climax. Way Down East stands with Intolerance and The Birth of a Nation as one of Griffith's three greatest masterpieces, all groundbreaking milestones in cinema history.
- Theatrical release: September 3, 1920.
- Filmed in New York, Vermont and Connecticut.
- Director D.W. Griffith billed this film as a "simple tale of plain people."
Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:
Based on 48 ratings.
I totally enjoyed watching "Way Down East." It has a great story, great acting, and the accompanying music was another part of this show that makes it so delightful.
A friend of mine found a book at a library sale called "Classics Of The Silent Screen" by Joe Franklin (Cadillac Publishing, NY, NY, 1959). According to the book, the ice-floe scene was filmed on the Connecticut River in Mamaroneck, NY. The scenes with Lillian Gish floating down the river while lying on a block of ice ARE REAL! Those scenes are also mixed with studio shots featuring close-ups of Lillian Gish and a finale filmed at Niagara Falls. But the ice-floe scene looks very real because it is. The book goes on to say that she had to be periodically revived with cups of steaming tea.
I doubt that the professional actors of today would volunteer to perform to this extent for today's movies, given the incredible special effects possible. The ice-floe scene is an awesome display of the dedication to the craft of both Lillian Gish and the crew that filmed this movie. While the morality of the story line would never attract audiences today, the finale is more than worth the price of this DVD.
I haven't seen this print, but last time I saw this was in a packed 'classic' movie theater, and man it was spectacular!
But there's one scene that's worth far more than the price of the video or DVD, and tha'ts when Miss Gish actually is jumping on ice flows in a river, and she's doing this for real... no nets, little safety equipment, and the river and ice is moving... something no one in their right mind would do today. Just seeing this alone will chill your bones!
And this is a true classic of film. There's so much more here that this should be on anyone's must-have list... I'm excited that it's finally on DVD and I've ordered it today - you should as well!
- Sales Rank: 3,716
- UPC: 089218451392
- Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item
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