Way Down East Reviews

August 23, 2019
It is difficult to write of this latest picture without dealing almost entirely in superlatives. Lillian Gish has discovered new ways of making you love her, and surely no one else could make that wishy-washy Anna Moore a real person!
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.
August 19, 2013
Spectacular to look at, emotionally engaging and with a conclusion that still sends a shiver down the spine.
August 6, 2012
One of Griffith's most rousing visions of film as visual-emotional ebb and flow, connection and rupture
January 7, 2012
This is melodramatic soap opera at its most blatant and at its very best.
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.
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.
January 4, 2007
January 26, 2006
[Lillian Gish's] virtuoso performance makes the heroine's growth from gullible innocence to bitter experience credible.
August 13, 2005
Classic feminist film
November 12, 2004
October 2, 2004
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.
April 4, 2003
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.
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
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.