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

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

    Endless Love

    Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde star in this romantic drama directed by Shana Feste.

  • Film4

    Northern Soul

    Elliot James Langridge and Josh Whitehouse star in writer-director Elaine Constantine's coming-of-age drama.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten

    Film4.com Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with Film4.com editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share