Way Down East Reviews

  • Dec 27, 2019

    One of the best silent films, and holds up even by modern standards. Interesting plot, with exceptional acting by Barthelmess and Gish. The scene where Gish won't let go of her dead baby is hauntingly sad and beautiful, while the famous ending with Gish on the ice flows as Barthelmess comes to rescue her is movie-making at its finest.

    One of the best silent films, and holds up even by modern standards. Interesting plot, with exceptional acting by Barthelmess and Gish. The scene where Gish won't let go of her dead baby is hauntingly sad and beautiful, while the famous ending with Gish on the ice flows as Barthelmess comes to rescue her is movie-making at its finest.

  • May 07, 2019

    The best thrilling romance movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Lowell Sherman as Lennox Sanderson!

    The best thrilling romance movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Lowell Sherman as Lennox Sanderson!

  • Jan 15, 2018

    1001 movies to see before you die. Good, but not great. Amazing to have had them take on the issues of having children out of wedlock and the gossip that follows people around. A bit long though.

    1001 movies to see before you die. Good, but not great. Amazing to have had them take on the issues of having children out of wedlock and the gossip that follows people around. A bit long though.

  • Sep 18, 2016

    Sprawling emotional epic finds a simple country girl falling for a ladies man, but he leaves her with child and without wedding ring. The baby dies and she is rejected by her family, so she must travel until being taken in by a farm. The move is able to capture little emotions on the player's faces, as well as throwing in many curves and twists for a very heart wrenching if long tale. DW Griffith's drama is influential for sure, giving us a simple morality tale with a lot of drama and conflict.

    Sprawling emotional epic finds a simple country girl falling for a ladies man, but he leaves her with child and without wedding ring. The baby dies and she is rejected by her family, so she must travel until being taken in by a farm. The move is able to capture little emotions on the player's faces, as well as throwing in many curves and twists for a very heart wrenching if long tale. DW Griffith's drama is influential for sure, giving us a simple morality tale with a lot of drama and conflict.

  • Jul 28, 2016

    A great silent picture. Riveting and charming early melodrama expertly told and executed, tremendous photography and Lilian Gish truly deserves all the accolades for her incredibly acted performance, the percusor of Method acting.

    A great silent picture. Riveting and charming early melodrama expertly told and executed, tremendous photography and Lilian Gish truly deserves all the accolades for her incredibly acted performance, the percusor of Method acting.

  • Mar 27, 2015

    good restoration of this a pic silent.

    good restoration of this a pic silent.

  • Dec 26, 2014

    D.W. Griffith, at his best. A true masterpiece.

    D.W. Griffith, at his best. A true masterpiece.

  • Dec 08, 2014

    It has some unfortunate detours with less interesting characters in the middle, but Way Down East is a melodrama done right with strong direction, lush scenery, some hard-hitting and very emotional scenes, engaging pacing, wonderfully amiable main character magnificently portrayed by Lillian Gish, a resonant theme reminiscent to another masterpiece 'A Letter from an Unkown Woman' and a great build-up which leads to a perfectly executed, climactic, entirely satisfying and simply astounding finale. This is an unfortunately overlooked 1920s gem and probably Griffith's most underrated film.

    It has some unfortunate detours with less interesting characters in the middle, but Way Down East is a melodrama done right with strong direction, lush scenery, some hard-hitting and very emotional scenes, engaging pacing, wonderfully amiable main character magnificently portrayed by Lillian Gish, a resonant theme reminiscent to another masterpiece 'A Letter from an Unkown Woman' and a great build-up which leads to a perfectly executed, climactic, entirely satisfying and simply astounding finale. This is an unfortunately overlooked 1920s gem and probably Griffith's most underrated film.

  • Sep 10, 2014

    I loved this film.This is an important film but one that I would recommend mostly to people who already love silents. They will enjoy it considerably. However, for people not accustomed to and appreciative of the silents, it's probably one to hold off on--as you may be too quick to dismiss it because of the preachy plot and one-dimensional characters. For 1920, it was quite the accomplishment.

    I loved this film.This is an important film but one that I would recommend mostly to people who already love silents. They will enjoy it considerably. However, for people not accustomed to and appreciative of the silents, it's probably one to hold off on--as you may be too quick to dismiss it because of the preachy plot and one-dimensional characters. For 1920, it was quite the accomplishment.

  • Panta O Super Reviewer
    Apr 26, 2014

    I thought that 2 h 30 minutes will be too long watching this silent romantic drama directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. But this adaptation of the melodramatic 19th century play Way Down East by Lottie Blair Parker is for sure the best ever of the four made! There were two earlier silent versions, as well as one sound version from 1935, starring Henry Fonda. D. W.Griffith's version is particularly remembered for its exciting climax in which Lillian Gish's character is rescued from doom on an icy river. Some sources, quoting newspaper ads of the time, say a sequence was filmed in an early colour process, possibly Technicolor or Prizmacolor. I wish I could see that! Mine was all black and white. The melodramatic story of the handsome rich playboy Lennox (Lowell Sherman) who is exceptionally selfish and think only of their own pleasure, and his victim Anna (Lillian Gish), a poor country girl whom Lennox tricks into a fake wedding. When she becomes pregnant, he leaves her. She has the baby, named Trust Lennox, on her own, but the baby dies... she wanders until she gets a job with Squire Bartlett (Burr McIntosh) and David (Richard Barthelmess), Squire Bartlett's son, falls in love with her! Obviously, at that time the institution of marriage was considered as a suitable environment for the growth of love, not as a killer of love which usually is in reality. D.W. Griffith bought the film rights to the story that was elaborated by Joseph R. Grismer. Grismer's wife, the Welsh actress Phoebe Davies, became identified with the play beginning in 1897 and starred in over 4000 performances of it by 1909 making it one of the most popular plays in the United States. Although it was Griffith's most expensive film to date, it was also one of his most commercially successful. Way Down East is the fourth highest grossing silent film in cinema history, taking in more than $4,500,000 at the box office in 1920. Clarine Seymour had appeared in four previous Griffith films, and was hired to play Kate, the squire's niece. However, her role was given to Mary Hay, and Seymour's footage reshot, when Seymour died after surgery. Mary Hay was a worthy replacement! Worth watching not only as a part of the cinematic history, but as an art work of exceptional value.

    I thought that 2 h 30 minutes will be too long watching this silent romantic drama directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. But this adaptation of the melodramatic 19th century play Way Down East by Lottie Blair Parker is for sure the best ever of the four made! There were two earlier silent versions, as well as one sound version from 1935, starring Henry Fonda. D. W.Griffith's version is particularly remembered for its exciting climax in which Lillian Gish's character is rescued from doom on an icy river. Some sources, quoting newspaper ads of the time, say a sequence was filmed in an early colour process, possibly Technicolor or Prizmacolor. I wish I could see that! Mine was all black and white. The melodramatic story of the handsome rich playboy Lennox (Lowell Sherman) who is exceptionally selfish and think only of their own pleasure, and his victim Anna (Lillian Gish), a poor country girl whom Lennox tricks into a fake wedding. When she becomes pregnant, he leaves her. She has the baby, named Trust Lennox, on her own, but the baby dies... she wanders until she gets a job with Squire Bartlett (Burr McIntosh) and David (Richard Barthelmess), Squire Bartlett's son, falls in love with her! Obviously, at that time the institution of marriage was considered as a suitable environment for the growth of love, not as a killer of love which usually is in reality. D.W. Griffith bought the film rights to the story that was elaborated by Joseph R. Grismer. Grismer's wife, the Welsh actress Phoebe Davies, became identified with the play beginning in 1897 and starred in over 4000 performances of it by 1909 making it one of the most popular plays in the United States. Although it was Griffith's most expensive film to date, it was also one of his most commercially successful. Way Down East is the fourth highest grossing silent film in cinema history, taking in more than $4,500,000 at the box office in 1920. Clarine Seymour had appeared in four previous Griffith films, and was hired to play Kate, the squire's niece. However, her role was given to Mary Hay, and Seymour's footage reshot, when Seymour died after surgery. Mary Hay was a worthy replacement! Worth watching not only as a part of the cinematic history, but as an art work of exceptional value.