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Lines of White on a Sullen Sea (1909)

 -  Short | Drama  -  28 October 1909 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 13 users  
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Soon after their engagement, Bill goes to sea, and Emily vows to stay true until his return. Unknown to her, Bill marries another woman from a different port. Emily waits faithfully for six... See full summary »

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Title: Lines of White on a Sullen Sea (1909)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Linda Arvidson ...
Emily
George Nichols ...
Joe
James Kirkwood ...
Bill
Kate Bruce ...
The Mother
Marion Leonard ...
The Second Wife
Dorothy West ...
The Second Wife's Friend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Evans ...
Fisherman in First Port
Dell Henderson
Arthur V. Johnson
Jeanie Macpherson
...
Fisherman in Second Port
Anthony O'Sullivan ...
Fisherman in First Port
...
Second Couple
Frank Powell ...
The Doctor
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Storyline

Soon after their engagement, Bill goes to sea, and Emily vows to stay true until his return. Unknown to her, Bill marries another woman from a different port. Emily waits faithfully for six years, finally becoming dangerously ill. When Bill suddenly appears in town with his family, Joe, who has loved Emily all along, forces Bill to make Emily's final moments happy by pretending he has returned to marry her. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Drama

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Release Date:

28 October 1909 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Moods
3 November 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

There isn't much of a story here. A sailor promises to wed the girl who loves him, then goes away to other ports and forgets about her while she waits. When he finally returns, she has fallen ill and is dying and he pretends he has come back to marry her, to make her last few minutes happier.

What makes this piece so very interesting is the way Griffith has it photographed. The outdoor scenes show huddled masses of beached boats, set to make a constrained circle of safety around the sailors; another shows Kate Bruce, her hair streaming in the wind, while the waves roll moodily to the right. He ends scenes with slow fades to black. This is not so much one of his story films as an exercise in poetry, and he knows how to make the silent cinema sing.


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