Way Down East (Kino) (Silent)

Way Down East (Kino) (Silent)
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Format:  DVD
item number:  34Y6R
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Way Down East for $10

DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 29 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: November 18, 2008
  • Originally Released: 1920
  • Label: Kino Lorber
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
  • Additonal Release Features:
    • Mastered in HD from the Museum of Modern Art's 35mm restoration, with original color tints
    • Score compiled from historic photoplay music, performed by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (2.0 Stereo)
  • Excerpts from Lottie Blair Parker's original play
    • Photos of William Brady's 1903 stage version
    • Film Clip: The ice floe sequence of the Edison Studio's production of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
    • Image gallery, including the original souvenir program book
    • Notes on the preparation of the music score

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Performer: , , &
Directed by
Edited by &
Screenwriting by , &
Composition by &
Produced by
Director of Photography: &

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 18


User Ratings: 1,054
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. Full Review
Chicago Reader
Jan 1, 2000
One of Griffith's most rousing visions of film as visual-emotional ebb and flow, connection and rupture Full Review
Aug 6, 2012
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! Full Review
New York Tribune
Aug 23, 2019
Spectacular to look at, emotionally engaging and with a conclusion that still sends a shiver down the spine. Full Review
Aug 19, 2013
This is melodramatic soap opera at its most blatant and at its very best. Full Review
Combustible Celluloid
Jan 7, 2012
Rating: 5/5 -- 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. Full Review
Radio Times
Aug 12, 2014
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. Full Review
Mar 26, 2009

Description by OLDIES.com:

D.W. Griffith's penchant for Victorian melodrama reached its height of expression in Way Down East. First performed in 1898, Lottie Blair Parker's play was one of the most successful stageworks ever written, a theatrical chestnut, heavy with sentiment, that cried out for the touch of the master. Griffith captured the appeal of Parker's original, while embossing it with devices borrowed from other popular melodramas, such as the climactic chase across an ice floe (inspired by stage adaptations of Uncle Tom's Cabin).

Lillian Gish stars as a small-town girl who is seduced, impregnated, and cast aside by Lennox Sanderson, a wealthy playboy (Lowell Sherman). To escape the shame of having a fatherless child, Anna changes her name and starts a new life in a small farming community, where she meets David, an icon of male virtue and decency (Richard Barthelmess). Their delicate happiness is threatened when Lennox arrives in town, and word of Anna's unsavory past begins to spread.

Product Description:

Innocent Anna (Lillian Gish, in a terrific performance) is sent by her poverty-stricken mother to visit rich relations in Boston, where she is seduced into a sham marriage by a smooth-talking scoundrel (Lowell Sherman). When she becomes pregnant, he abandons her; later, the baby dies. Now a social outcast, she changes her name and eventually finds shelter at the estate of the sternly religious Squire Bartlett (Burr McIntosh). She falls in love with his handsome son (Richard Barthelmess), but cannot divulge to him her terrible secret for fear of his father's righteous fury. D.W. Griffith (BIRTH OF A NATION) directed this film with his usual blend of powerfully cinematic storytelling and scathing social commentary. Rustic New England and New York locations provide a gorgeous backdrop to the proceedings, and the climax, where poor Anna becomes lost in a winter storm, and is swept down the river on ice floes, is one of silent cinema's peak moments.

Plot Synopsis:

A melodrama in typical Griffith fashion about a poor woman, Anna, who is trapped by a vicious scoundrel into a fake marriage just so the wealthy snob, Lennox, can have his way with her. Once this has happened, he leaves her behind, alone and pregnant, to journey into the world. She is scorned by everyone she meets because she is an unwed mother, yet when she finally settles at Squire Bartlett's and he falls for her, she cannot give in to his advances due to her troubled past. Eventually, Lennox shows up, and when Squire Bartlett learns of the truth, he throws her out into the snow. The closing sequence of Anna drifting on the ice floes is highly regarded.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical release: September 3, 1920.
  • Filmed in New York, Vermont and Connecticut.
  • Director D.W. Griffith billed this film as a "simple tale of plain people."

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 91,174
  • UPC: 738329064020
  • Shipping Weight: 0.22/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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