Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

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  • Orphans of the Storm (1921) - Plot Summary - Highly entertaining period costume melodrama set during the French Revolution. About a baby girl named Louise who is taken from her mother, an aristocrat who has married a commoner (much to the distress of her family who kill the father and leave the baby on the foundling steps of Notre Dame). There a chance meeting - a poverty stricken man is about to leave his own baby girl, Henriette, on the steps, but feeling for the cold, sad state of the first baby he decides to take both girls home to raise. The years pass, but stricken by the plague, Louise (Dorothy Gish) has become blind and Henriette (Lillian Gish) parentless. The two orphans soon head for Paris in hopes of a cure for Louise's blindness - Louise fears being left alone, so Henriette gives an oath she will not marry until Louise can see again and gives her approval. But a creepy Marquis meets the girls on the trip to Paris and, lustful for Henriette's "virginal beauty", arranges for her abduction. With the help of a handsome young man, the Chevalier, she escapes and they now try to find Louise, not knowing she has been abducted herself - by an old hag and her sons who live in underground dungeon-like squalor. Poor little Louise is forced to wear rags and beg on the streets of Paris.

    Review - Excellent silent film, directed by who I am coming to think of as I see more and more of his movies, a real "master", D.W. Griffith. The Gish sisters are just so great in this, the costuming and art direction are lavishly done, the photography excellent with so many well done crowd scenes. At a sumptuous feast and dance thrown by the Marquis in an earlier scene, the excesses of the aristocratic life are well portrayed - and I must say, the Marie Antoinette style powdered wigs the ladies wear to this party are possibly the tallest ever put on film! This film started slightly slow for me but as it went on I got really, really into it - the last hour had me on the edge of my seat. A very enjoyable and exciting silent film. Wow is all that I can say - a must see! Rating - * 10/10 stars *

    Director: D. W. Griffith
    Film Genre: Period Melodrama
    Film Runtime: 150 minutes

Links / Resources

film review Orphans of the Storm starring the Gish sisters


10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

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