Greta Garbo

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Scott Lord Silent Film: LIllian GIsh in Orphans Of The Storm (D.W. Griffith, 1921)

The photographer of the film was Hendrik Sartov. When seen by Norwegian director Tancred Ibsen, "Orphans of the Storm" was one of the films included in is decision to go to Hollywood, albeit none of the scripts he wrote while there were realized.

William Everson, in his volume American Silent Film, perhaps sees the significance of "Orphans of the Storm" lying perhaps in tits improtance to us more than as a steppingstone for D.W. Griffith. He writes, "While it did well, Orphans of the Storm was not the box-office blockbuster that Griffith expected and needed badly. Because it was neither a financial landmark nor an aesthetic advance over his previous films, it is usually dismissed by historians (even the few responsible one's) as representing 'Griffith in Decline'." Everson reports that after the premiere, which he spoke at and which was attended by Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Griffith cut "the more harrowing scenes" from the film, including close-ups of vermin crawling over Dorothy Gish and shots from the execution scene. And yet, Everson is certainly correct that the film showcases the directorial skills of D.W. Griffith. Everson continues, "The detail shots in battle scenes (troops moving into formation, close ups of pistols being loaded and and fixed) gave them a documentary quality which mde them explicable as well as ezciting."

D.W. Griffith

Silent Film

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