Broken Blossoms (1919) and Way Down East (1920)


1001 Movies reports these as beautiful and amongst Griffiths' finest. I have to say that gazing at Gish (Lillian, that is) is not a particularly riveting pastime, so I didn't get far with either. The theme of vulnerable innocence under threat from masculine bullies may have been attractive for contemporary audiences, but I've seen it in so many short comedies - and Chaplin features - that it's too corny for my tastes. I preferred to skip ahead four entries to what is, allegedly, one of the earliest 'feminist' movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922).

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