Way Down East - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Way Down East Reviews

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Robin Karney
Radio Times
August 12, 2014
Justly celebrated for the climactic sequence where Gish, drifting unconscious on a raft of ice in a storm, is rescued by Barthelmess, the film offers many less obvious moments that are just as memorable.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5

August 19, 2013
Spectacular to look at, emotionally engaging and with a conclusion that still sends a shiver down the spine.
Fernando F. Croce
August 6, 2012
One of Griffith's most rousing visions of film as visual-emotional ebb and flow, connection and rupture
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
January 7, 2012
This is melodramatic soap opera at its most blatant and at its very best.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
March 26, 2009
With the gathering together of a relatively small cast and less than half a dozen stellar film artists, D.W. has taken a simple, elemental, old-fashioned, bucolic melodrama and milked it for 12 reels of absorbing entertainment.
Paul Brenner
July 25, 2007
If you are not moved at the scene of Gish baptizing her dead baby, then you should check the obituaries of your local paper to see if you are listed.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
May 27, 2007
Old-fashioned bucolic soap opera doesn't translate well to modern-times.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Tony Rayns
Time Out
January 26, 2006
[Lillian Gish's] virtuoso performance makes the heroine's growth from gullible innocence to bitter experience credible.
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television
August 13, 2005
Classic feminist film
| Original Score: 5/5

TV Guide
May 24, 2003
The movie is today noted chiefly for its legendary climactic episode: a harrowingly realistic sequence in which the hero hurdles a succession of floating ice blocks to save the heroine from being washed over the falls.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mark Adamo
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
What's amazing is that so much of Gish's tough, funny, intuitive performance, particularly in the film's middle section as she bears her illegitimate child, transcends time, place and technology.
Tim Dirks
Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
January 1, 2000
Way Down East (1920) is D. W. Griffith's classic, silent melodramatic film. He bought the film rights to the story, originally a stage play of the same name
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
January 1, 2000
Through his star, Lillian Gish, Griffith gives the story an emotional power that lifts this 1920 silent feature to the level of a folktale; it becomes something simple, strong, and timeless.
Michael Dequina
January 4, 2007
| Original Score: 4/5
Emanuel Levy
November 12, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
October 2, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
Matt Bailey
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
April 4, 2003
| Original Score: 5/5
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