Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

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  • The Wind (1928) - Plot Summary - "The Land o' the Winds" - - Silent film starring Lillian Gish as Letty, young lady who travels by train from Virginia to the western prairie to live with her male cousin Beverly and his wife Cora on their "beautiful ranch". What she didn't know is the desert area where she's about to start her new life is full of constant wind and blowing sand, which - as Whit Roddy (Montague Love), who she meets on the train says - can drive you mad. The ranch is not so beautiful as expected and Cora the prairie wife is none to happy to have this pretty, lady-like young woman living in her home - and especially, she is bitterly jealous of the close relationship Letty has with her hubby! Two neighbor men are interested in Letty and toss a coin to see who gets to ask to marry her - but Letty thinks of them as sort of country bumpkins, thinks the whole thing's a joke and giggles them out of the room. Cora - so hopeful to think she may be getting rid of the unwanted young woman - pushes Letty to leave. Roddy has been busy pursuing Letty and has proclaimed his love for her - so Letty goes after him, but - um - seems he's already married (the cad). Cora - a bitch to the core (how else can it be put) - forces Letty to choose between the two neighbor men to marry. Soon Letty marries Lige (Lars Hanson), the younger of the two, and moves in to his small, wind-swept homestead where sweeping out sand is a constant chore. First night there, Letty takes down her long hair driving Lige crazy with her beauty - he aggressively paws all over her causing her to wipe her mouth in disgust and proclaim she "hates him". Lige is hurt and put off, determined to save enough money to send her away. Meanwhile, the sand swirls constantly outside the windows until one day the fierce "North Wind" arrives and while the men are out, Letty is left alone to brave the storm until the arrival of bad man Wirt Roddy brings a whirlwind of trouble into the house.

    Review - Atmospheric silent era film that completely draws you into it's desolate prairie world, with it's constant wind and swirling sand driving against the windows. The cinematography is the thing, and there are some really interesting visuals in this - particularly the white horse representing the North Wind which the Indians think of as a "ghost horse", the image overlayed in the sky, bounding across the screen. There are also well done visual effects in the form of a cyclone and flying debris and numerous scenes of wind blowing everything, Lillian's hair sweeping about her face, her dress clinging from the force of the wind. Lillian Gish does a stunning job in this. The orchestral score done by Carl Davis is magnificent, I have to say. A masterwork, directed by Victor Seastrom - one of the very best silent films. Rating - * 10/10 stars *

    Director: Victor Sjostrom (Victor Seastrom)
    Film Genre: Romantic Melodrama
    Film Runtime: 79 minutes

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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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