Friday, May 27, 2011

11. Orphans of a Storm

Orphans of a Storm

I actually thought this movie was kind of interesting which is rare for me when it comes to silent films.  I really do like Lilian Gish and the plot moved along nicely.  That being said, this is probably one of D.W. Griffith's worst historical films and I had never even heard about it before the lovely 1001 book introduced it to me.

This movie is about the French Revolution and the effect it has on two sisters.  One becomes blind and the other is kidnapped (I want to travel with these two party animals!).  There is also a romance between Henriette (the kidnapped one) and this old guy who looks like he is wearing make up.  Overall, I thought it was actually pretty engaging but apparently I am one of the few who do.  I read a lot of criticisms about how the plot does not move along quickly or how it is historically inaccurate.  But since when is Griffith ever historically accurate?  Is that really a standard?

I think Griffith was racist and ignorant but I owe him a lot.  Movies are one of my passions and I know they couldn't be where they are today without him.  I also know that the silent films have not kept my attention as well as his has (with the exception of The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari).  I just have to figure out a way for my older sister, Rachel, to believe me...

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:


Someone was killed on set when a prop gun went off. Why was it loaded?!?!?!?

You can watch the movie on Youtube or on Netflix Watch Instantly.

Originally Lillian Gish was going to play her trademark character, the helpless Louise.  However, her sister, who was much more strong willed than she was, played Louise and Lillian played Henriette.

This weekend I am going to watch my all time favorite Moulin Rouge and a semi favorite Jesus Christ Superstar with my best friend Brie.  I need words dammit!  After I am refreshed with those films, I will probably return to the silent movies with a vengeance!

Here is a kind of tribute I found. I figured there should be some kind of farewell video for Griffith for everything he did (the good, the bad, and the ugly).  Not many people are willing to make a video for him, but this kind of just goes over his movies.  Goodbye strange man!


  1. Excuse me for not being able to get over the racism! I can't handle it. He could have performed all of his innovative techniques with another story!

  2. I absolutely love Griffith.
    The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance are hard to go throught, but the other ones are awesome.
    I guess you have to try to put yourself in his head to ignore the racism thing.
    I dont think he meant to be racist. I guess he was just so concentrated in his work that he forgot how people would feel about it. He was a little naive... (sorry about bad english, I'm portuguese)

    1. I agree that it wasn't his intention, although it is hard for me to be like "just look past the racism!" when I am not black.

    2. Aside from Birth of a Nation, I was able to avoid being appalled by the racism, but even accounting for different eras some of the stereotyping was comical. I laughed out loud at Broken Blossoms.

      All that said, I do agree with the point about his intentions.