All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
Broken Blossoms is an American silent film from director D. W. Griffith. This melodrama tells the love story of an abused English woman and a Chinese Buddhist in a time when London was a brutal and harsh place to live.
Decades Project: 1/1 of the 10's
Wow. Ouch. Wowch.
One of the chief problems with silent films for me is their ability to connect on an emotional level, and boy does Broken Blossoms ever connect. Its story about an innocent young girl and a lonely Chinese immigrant oppressed and forgotten by the world around them is something which hits more than a few resonant notes with anyone who's ever felt like an outsider. Neither character has a place in society, but when they meet a space is magically opened up where they not only coexist as a pair but where they can finally exist as individuals.
You might expect a film adaptation of a story called The Chink and the Child made by Birth of a Nation director D.W. Griffith to be, well, not exactly racially sensitive. And, true, the character of Cheng Huan is played by westerner Richard Barthelmess, who squints his eyes to achieve an oriental look. But, if anything, Broken Blossoms is about tolerance, and in particular racial tolerance, it being the story of two ethnically different star-crossed lovers, whose flowering affections are cruelly thwarted by a racist brute.
Lillian Gish is phenomenal. Her character, Lucy, may never be anything more than a victim in the story, but Gish, with her tremulous, haunted fragility, is magnetic. There is one particular scene where Lucy…
Except for the creepy pedophilic overtones and casual racism, this is a straightforward melodrama. It's neither great nor terrible.
Poor, sad little girl. I am not sure I have ever seen terror portrayed so convincingly as the closet scene. And the way she acts with her eyes and uses her fingers to force a smile - brilliant.
I think this Lillian Gish might have a future in the flickers.
The loneliest movie there ever was.
As much a reaction to BIRTH as INTOLERANCE, with a racially flipped climax that suggests the average white woman has more to fear from a drunken, single-minded relative than a minority. Smaller in scale than Griffith's other features to that point, but no less intricate in its technical and emotional mastery. Maybe even my favorite of his features so far.
D.W. Griffith's stylized lyric tragedy-a small-scale film that is one of his most poetic, and one of his finest. With Lillian Gish as the childish waif (the source, possibly, of the Giulietta Masina role in LA STRADA), Donald Crisp as the brutal Zampanò-like prizefighter, and Richard Barthelmess as the lonely Chinese dreamer. (The original prints were tinted and it was first exhibited with additional color-a "Chinese blue" glow thrown from the projection booth onto the screen.) Silent.
The D. W. stands for Don't Watch
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die: 493/1187
This is such a relentlessly bleak melodrama I haven't seen it for many years (I'm watching the 2000 Eureka DVD release).
DW Griffith was certainly a film visionary and this is perhaps a better example of his emotional close - ups and parallel editing than Intolerance or the problematic Birth of a Nation.
His greatest actress find, Lillian Gish, plays Lucy, a young girl who finds life hard. She lives in violent poverty with her father, Battling Burrows, a vicious xenophobe who may well be abusing her in other ways we don't see on screen.
Enter 'The Yellow Man' (yes, I know, but this was neatly a hundred years ago), played by Caucasian actor Richard Bartlemess - who is superb.…
Se o encantamento do Homem Amarelo por Lucy representa um lado pedófilo repugnante, é importante notar que em certos aspectos o filme foge de certas convenções. A maior delas é certamente a de não defender o racismo que o personagem interpretado por Donald Crisp prega, e mais do que isso, em nenhum momento humanizar seu personagem a ponto de ter espaço para concessões. Crisp é vilão por completo, ponto. E Lillian Gish brilha ao encarnar perfeitamente o estereótipo de mulher angelical e sagrada que Griffith ama apresentar em seus filmes. Quando a câmera se aproxima dela é impossível não compadecer de seu sofrimento.
"The Yellow Man watched Lucy often. The beauty which all Limehouse missed smote him to the heart."
After some thinking and re-watching, I have decided to bring this down a half a star. I still adore Lillian Gish's performance, but the some of the acting (Donald Crisp's especially) is a little too over the top, but not enough to take it out of the movie. Also, there is the yellow face issue. Other than that, it's still a beautifully told story.
So apparently, that Asian man is actually a white man who just crouches and squints a lot for 90 minutes!!! Astonishing!!!
If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…