Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)
  • True Heart Susie (1919) - Plot Summary - Charming and sentimental soap opera introduced as "The Story of a Plain Girl". Well, Susie (the so-called "plain girl", played by Lillian Gish) and William (Robert Harron) are two country teens who seem to be best pals having a small little romance as she walks home from school with him and he carves their initials on a tree - seems sweet, right? But then again, she pretty much trails behind him as they walk (like his shadow) and he pretty much pulls away as they start to kiss (bashful or just not interested? - it's hard to tell). He dreams of going to college, she secretly sells her cow and other goods (after all, she "must" marry a smart man) and sends him the money under the guise that it is from a "philanthropist" they previously met in town. He comes back grown-up, with mustache - she secretly writes of plans to marry him in her diary and keeps it a secret about who his real benefactor was. But - enter one flirty Bettina: she believes in paint, powder, tight skirts, and silk stockings. Young William, now ready for marriage, unbelievably asks surprised Bettina to become his wife. Oh dear, poor Susie. But it doesn't exactly work out the way he hopes!

    Review - This is a really sweet and entertaining film - I like it a bunch. Lillian Gish is quite a bit too pretty to really seem realistic as "plain", but they manage to braid and slick down her hair in the earlier scenes, and with her shuffling along and the like, it almost works - and she's great in the part, of course. The character of Bettina is not really in the vein of "evil vamp" or anything like that - she's really just an immature young girl who likes to party and flirt and just isn't ready to settle down with a house and husband yet. Clarine Seymour, who plays Bettina, is really excellent in this film - she completely brings her character to life and even manages to make what appears to be a man-stealing homewrecker into a sympathetic character. It is hard to forget while watching this film, the early deaths of two of the stars here, Harron and Seymour, in only a year's time. The art direction and camerawork nicely captures the rural setting and youthful faces of the stars. The Image Entertainment DVD of this film features a clear, tinted print that looks great - the music is a nicely done score by the Mont Alto orchestra featuring contemporary tunes, which completely suits this film. An emotional, absorbing, and at all times enjoyable silent film. Rating - * 10/10 stars *

    Director: D.W. Griffith
    Film Genre: Romantic Comedy
    Film Runtime: 87 minutes



Links / Resources




film review True Heart Susie starring Lillian Gish

RATINGS KEY:

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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