|Index||3 reviews in total|
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
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While the acting and the sentiment expressed in this picture are the best and loftiest possible, there is a feeling of sadness, yes, more, a disagreeable impression which does not wear away. It is indeed a hard, cruel combination which forces a girl to wait long years for her lover, who, unfaithful to his vows, has married elsewhere. And even though deception is rarely to be condoned in this instance, the belief of the dying girl that her lover was true is sufficient justification for the deception practiced upon her. These stories of unrequited love, so faithfully portrayed by the Biograph Company, are unquestionably of great value in the development of the silent drama. Their effect upon an audience varies, yet there is, perhaps, a general feeling of resentment, coupled with a desire to see the unfaithful one punished sufficiently to compensate in some degree for the pain caused. The stories told are common enough, but this company's manner of telling makes them appear distinctive and altogether out of the ordinary. - The Moving Picture World, November 6, 1909
Lines of White on Sullen Sea (1909)
*** (out of 4)
D.W. Griffith film about a sailor who promises to marry a woman just to get her off his back. At his next port he finds a woman who he really marries while the girl back at home continues to wait for him. When the sailor finally returns home he learns that the girl there is dying so he goes to her to make her final moments happy. Even with all that said, there really isn't too much of a story here but Griffith adds his usual touches that make this worth watching at least once. Mary Pickford has a small role.
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