No Rural America In Film Month is complete without Griffith’s 1920 blockbuster! One of my personal favorite silents, WAY DOWN EAST had the daunting task of taking a melodramatic, old-fashioned stage play (the kind many Edwardians made fun of) and turning it into a piece of art that could appeal to anyone. In my opinion, he delivered. Hope you enjoy the review!
When Griffith told his company that he was going to film the well-known–and old-fashioned–stage play Way Down East, they reportedly all thought he was insane. As Lillian Gish would later recall, “Way Down East was a horse-and-buggy melodrama, familiar on the rural circuit for more than twenty years. As I read the play, I could hardly keep from laughing.”
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