Thursday, December 31, 2009

Orphans of the Storm (1921)

orphans The Plague, the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the guillotine, blindness, poverty--what storm didn't these orphans encounter?

D.W. Griffith's last historical epic, Orphans of the Storm, stars the Gish sisters, Lillian and Dorothy, as two orphans facing uncertain times during the upheaval of the French Revolution. Recently orphaned and one blinded, the sisters leave the French countryside looking for a cure for the blind sister in not so gay Paris. The sisters become separated and each faces their own personal hell--one put out as a beggar, the other placed before the guillotine. Eventually the sisters are reunited, the blindness is cured, and all is well. Trust me, the story is too long (2.5 hrs.) to put every detail in this blog.

orph As someone who specialized in this area of history, I have an odd appreciation for this film. However, I do have a slight problem with the part where Danton rushes in and saves one of the sisters from the guillotine--once you went out in the death wagon you didn't come back with your head still attached, let alone still breathing.

It is said that this is the best acting performance of Lillian Gish's silent career. That is debatable--I prefer her in Way Down East. The film is a bit melodramatic, but still, it really is a silent classic.

(Warning: there are some Intense Scenes.)

Click to view movie.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Gone with the Wind (1939) drama/romance. Based on Margaret Mitchell's (1936) novel. Directed by Victor Fleming. Cast: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Olivia de Havilland.It received ten Academy Awards, a record that stood for twenty years. GONE WITH THE WIND is in the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films of All Time. List of (1998), it was number four. (2007) 10th Anniversary edition, it dropped to number six. In June (2008). AFI best ten films in ten American film GONE WITH THE WIND was the fourth best Epic film . It has sold more tickets in the U.S. than any other film in history. Today, it is considered one of the greatest and most popular films of the golden age of Hollywood.

GONE WITH THE WIND(1939), Is one of my top 5 "gotta see films". I love everything about it, the scenery, costumes, actors and story line of a young woman growing into a self-driven woman to succeed regardless of cost. If you were to ask me which is my favorite part of the movie. I would have to say the beginning, where Scarlett O'Hara, is sitting on the mansion's porch, on her family's plantation, sick of hearing the young men talk about going to war with the North. She would much rather talk about the next day's barbecue at Twelve Oaks.(Wilkes plantation.) When the twins tell her that Ashley Wilkes, is planning on announcing his engagement, to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton from Atlanta, Scarlett can't believe it, because she is also in love with Ashley. Her father confirms the wedding announcement when he sees her on his way home to Tara, and warns Scarlett to forget about Ashley, because "like should marry like."

The next day, Scarlett tries to make Ashley jealous by flirting with all of the young men at the barbecue. Later, while all the young girls are supposed to retire for their afternoon nap, she sneaks into the library to speak with him. He tells her that he and Melanie are alike. Unfortunately, Scarlett still believes that he is in love with her. When he leaves, Scarlett heartbroken, throws a vase and is surprised to see Rhett Butler, a notorious womanizer, who has been hiding on a couch the entire time. She quickly becomes annoyed at him for making fun of her feelings for Ashley,

Later, that afternoon they hear the news that war has broken out between the North and the South, Scarlett can not believe her eyes when she sees Ashley kiss Melanie goodbye, as he goes with the other men to enlist, and on an impulse accepts the proposal of Melanie's brother Charles. Just after Ashley and Melanie wedding, Scarlett and Charles marry, Melanie, tells Scarlett that "now they will truly be sisters."
Click to view movie trailer.

Our World is an American television news series that ran for 26 episodes, from September 25, 1986 to May 28, 1987. The show was anchored by Linda Ellerbee and Ray Gandolf. Each episode of the series tells a story, through the use of archival film and television footage, one short period in American history. Our World aired on ABC. This is Our World presentation of: The making of Gone with the Wind.