CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Drama, Romance
  • 1920
  • 110 mins

Way Down East

Way Down East

Synopsis

Grand pastoral melodrama by the director of The Birth Of A Nation. An influence on both Walt Disney and Eisenstein, it features a spectacular on-ice finale made without any special effects whatsoever

About

A quintessential Griffith melodrama,with Gish, the silent screen's most luminous heroine, staggering up and down the road to ruin.

A naive country girl is seduced and finds she is pregnant. The infant dies, and she is publicly shamed. In one of the most exciting sequences of the 1920s a farmer (Barthelmess) rescues her from the deadly ice floes of the White River (watch out for that waterfall, Lil!) and they settle down together.

The movie's plot is hoary old stuff from the penny-gaffs and saloon theatres but Griffith transforms it into a tale of elemental grandeur.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman, Burr McIntosh, Mrs David Landau, Josephine Bernard
  • Director: DW Griffith, United Artists
  • Writer: Anthony Paul Kelly, DW Griffith
  • Producer: DW Griffith
  • Photographer: Billy Bitzer, Henrik Sortov

In a nutshell

There's a strong argument to suggest that of all Griffith's work this one has withstood the test of time most successfully. Spectacular to look at, emotionally engaging and with a conclusion that still sends a shiver down the spine.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 River Of Grass

    River Of Grass

    Cozy and Lee go on the lam after an accidental shooting in Kelly Reichardt's debut feature

    On Film4: 4 Sep 1:00AM

  • Film4 Into The Storm

    Into The Storm

    A found footage, extreme weather thriller starring Richard Armitage, Matt Walsh and Sarah Wayne Callies

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share