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#8- Way Down East

Quick Recap: A young country girl, Anna,  is sent to her cousin’s house and falls for a man named Sanderson. Sanderson seduces Anna and holds a mock wedding just so he can sleep with her. After discovering she is pregnant, Sanderson admits to the scam and leaves. Soon after, Anna’s mother dies and she eventually gives birth to a baby boy who dies in infancy. Anna is forced to find work after her landlord discovers she has no husband. She eventually finds work with a farming family who are very religious, but kind. It is revealed that Sanderson lives just a few houses down. Things are going well and Anna even begins to fall in love with David, the Squire’s son. Everything comes crashing down when the Squire finds out Anna had a child out of wedlock. She explains her side of the story and then runs away. Even though finding out she is not who he thought, David chases after her and dramatically rescues her from an icy river. All is forgiven and the two eventually marry.

Fun (?) Fact: The icy rescue scene at the end of the movie was done without special effects.

My Thoughts: I do my best not to read about the movie ahead of time so that I won’t form any opinions beforehand. So when I do have an idea, it is nice to know that it sometimes matches up with what is true. Take, for instance, the movie’s premise of a girl ruined by her mock marriage. The whole thing seemed incredibly outdated for 1920, until I later read that the movie is based on a very popular play from 1890. Of course Lillian Gish was wonderful, although I would love to see her play a villain just once instead of the innocent, everything-that-can-go-wrong-does-go-wrong character. Besides the outdated (for its time) plot, I was bored with the subplots of all the other couples falling in love. Apparently there is a revised version so maybe some of this is taken out? I guess I do appreciate the lightheartedness that was put into some of the scenes. I can imagine young couples going on a date to see this movie because it is essentially a romance. I don’t know who in their right mind would bring a date to Birth of a Nation or even Intolerance,  so good for Griffith for branching out a little. The ice rescue scene at the end was pretty amazing and just shows how talented Griffith was.

Final Review: 2/5. Once again, this is my personal opinion in the movie and not necessarily what someone else might think. I am not a romance movie kind of girl so it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I much preferred Intolerance but I would rather watch this than Broken Blossoms. I’m still drinking because of that one.

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One response to “#8- Way Down East

  1. Pingback: #199- Orphans of the Storm | 1001 Movie Nights

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