All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl
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.
Except for the creepy pedophilic overtones and casual racism, this is a straightforward melodrama. It's neither great nor terrible.
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…
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.
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.
A powerful social commentary, as well as a shocking character study about the influence of our behavior with the world, and the motives that drove humanity towards them. And still, I don't approve the alternate racist title. Well, Griffith had something going around, huh?
As of now, this is the only D. W. Griffith movie I have seen (I've seen this some time in 2013). It is also one of the first silent movies I have ever seen. I must say that I was quite impressed. I thought the main story was quite moving (though a bit predictable) and I loved several of the shots (most of which involved Lillian Gish, including "the smile"). What I loved the most was the acting. While I did think Donald Crisp and Richard Barthelmess did quite well, I absolutely was blown away by Lillian Gish, who portrays a vulnerable waif. All she needs to do is make subtle gestures with her incredibly expressive face. She was perfect. A brilliant first Lillian Gish film for me.
Rankings of the performances:
Lillian Gish: 5/5
Donald Crisp: 3.5/5
Richard Barthelmess: 3.5/5
The director, D. W. Griffith, took a melodramatic little story and stretched it into an boring and tedious hour and a half feature. I understand and can accept the racism as a part of the times. The racism displayed in this film is probably unintentional as Griffith was trying to tell a story of tolerance. But I can't get myself interested in the simplistic stories and overwrought acting of most of the silent films I've seen. The acting ends up being unintentionally comedic for me.
Maybe this film has value in a historical context. But for me, there is not much value aesthetically.
Whilst delving into a lot of silent cinema lately, I stumbled on D.W. Griffiths incredibly poignant and enchanting Broken Blossoms. Being my first Griffith film, and knowing he's subject to controversy, I didn't know what to expect. I absolutely adored Broken Blossoms.
A lonely misfit girl Lucy (Lillian Gish) is mistreated by her father (Donald Crisp) and lives a life of pain and suffering in her England village. Poor and mistraught, she meets a Chinese shopowner (Richard Bartholomess) and the two fall in love. A simple story yet incredibly poignant.
The film is pretty monumental in terms of romance, and film in general. Lillian Gish does a fine job as Lucy, and displays her character with quirks and powerful acting…
March Around The World 2016 | Film 28 | United States
"Returning from tea and noodles"
A very tedious and unintentionally comical melodrama, D. W. Griffith, with so little grace that one would imagine it was one of his earliest works not following his greatest, stretches the story of a short subject into an incredibly thin and grotesque hour and a half.
The film rushes through the introduction of the Yellow Man. A few acousmatic title cards explain to the viewer of the Yellow Man's (hereby called TYM) intentions of spreading the word of the Buddha to the West, but he quickly gets beaten in the street of his home nation of China when trying to communicate his message of…
Ik wilde eigenlijk de laatste twee films uit het lijstje van D.W. Griffith overslaan. Met Birth of a Nation en Intolerance heb ik denk ik het beste uit zijn carrière gehad. Toch bleven de twee lege plekjes in mijn filmlijstje me aankijken. Daarom heb ik me toch maar gewaagd aan Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl en dat is een goede keuze.
Griffith vertelt een klein verhaal over een verboden liefde in het Londen van begin vorige eeuw. The yellow man, ofwel een Chinese immigrant (gespeeld door een Amerikaan), wordt verliefd op een meisje die wordt mishandeld door haar vader. Die geschiedenis kan niet goed aflopen en dat doet het ook niet. Het tragische einde komt niet…
Ausgerechnet D.W. Griffith, der zwei der epochalsten und größten Stummfilme seiner Zeit gedreht hat, - "Birth of a Nation" und "Intolerance" - bringt mit "Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl" einen ruhigen kleinen Film auf die Leinwand. In dieser Kritik werde ich nicht auf die sooft und zu Recht kritisierte Darstellung des "Yellow Man" oder auf die Tatsache, dass obwohl die Liebe zwischen den beiden Hauptdarstellern eine idealisierte ist, Lillian Gishs Charakter trotzdem noch ein Kind ist, eingehen. Es geht auch nicht darum. Denn die eigentliche Intention D.W. Griffiths war es, Chinesen nicht als die Bedrohung darzustellen, als die sie in der Öffentlichkeit wahrgenommen wurden, sondern als fromme friedliche Menschen. Das große Problem, wenn man sich Stummfilme…
+ The subject of the movie, very daring
+ Impressive directing for the time (close-ups, boxing matches, closet scene)
+ The whole ending showing great editing and suspense
- Racism : the use of white actors to play asians (obviously!), the use of demeaning words for Chinese characters and horrible clichés
- The main actress seems a bit young and makes the story kind of creepy
- The bad father is over the top bad when the rest of the characters are more restrained
I chose this one by sorting the Ebert list by age, and it just so happens I had added this to my To Watch list when I discovered it on YouTube a few days ago. I played Cliff Martinez's Solaris score, and then Jonny Greenwood's Inherent Vice score. Glad I played them in that order, the more ethereal Solaris sets up the relatively calm first half and the strings-heavy Inherent Vice added to the stressful second half.
I'm usually not a fan of this specific brand (read: Griffith's) of semi-manipulative melodrama, but at least there's only 90 minutes of it instead of 2-3 hours. There were certain things…
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
More Info to come