During the Civil War a young soldier loses his nerve in battle and runs away to his home to hide; his sister puts on his uniform, takes her brother's place in the battle, and is killed. ...
See full summary »
This autumn, Dr. Earl Headley is eagerly demonstrating what seems to be a miraculous cure for tuberculosis. Yet not far from where he is working, the disease seems ready to claim yet ... See full summary »
An isolated house in deserted area is too remote for a servant, who leaves a note, quietly exits the back door, and puts the key under the mat. Alone in the house is a mother and her infant... See full summary »
Our hero (Lloyd) is infatuated with a girl in the next office. In order to drum up business for her boss, an osteopath, he gets an actor friend to pretend injuries that the doctor "cures", ... See full summary »
At a tramcar in Copenhagen the piano teacher Magda Vang meets the young man Knud Svane, who falls in love with her. She is invited to spend the summer with him and his parents at the ... See full summary »
Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »
A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film... See full summary »
During the Civil War, a father living in a border state leaves to join the Union Army. After he leaves, Confederate troops forage on his property, where a soldier encounters one of his ... See full summary »
Union soldiers march off to battle amid cheering crowds. After the battle turns against the Union Army, one soldier runs away, hiding in his girlfriend's house. Ashamed of his cowardice, he... See full summary »
Charles Hill Mailes
Two Johns, a Confederate and an Union soldier, leave their family to go to the front. After a skirmish they end up separated from their respective sides, the Union soldier shoots the ... See full summary »
During the Civil War a young soldier loses his nerve in battle and runs away to his home to hide; his sister puts on his uniform, takes her brother's place in the battle, and is killed. Their mother, not wanting the shameful truth to become known, closes all the shutters (hence the film's title) and keeps her son's presence a secret for many years, though two boyhood chums stumble upon the truth... Written by
Peter W. Many, Jr. (PMSusana)
This is another of DW Griffith's numerous civil war pictures, made not long after the well-crafted In the Border States. A kind of repetitive formula is starting to develop for these particular shorts, which all begin with a man bidding his family goodbye, then going to join the lines of marching men amid cheering, waving and weeping. As with In the Border States the storytelling is direct and economic, and title cards are not needed. In this case, the scene is set in the opening shot with Dorothy West sewing together a Confederate flag, while Henry B. Walthall proudly stands by her. In an instant we get the era, the setting and the family relationship.
One difference between The House with Closed Shutters and the majority of Griffith's civil war shorts, is that it actually shows large scale albeit brief battle sequences. The shots of the trenches and Dorothy West being gunned down with the flag in her hands are similar to the imagery from the battle in Birth of a Nation.
Despite the tightly staged opening sequence, The House with Closed Shutters is overall fairly average. With its story tending more towards melodrama than action there is unfortunately plenty of scope for pantomimey acting (the chief offender here being Grace Henderson). But it does serve as another example of Griffith's attitude to the war that neither side in the conflict was right or wrong, but that heroism, duty and honour are important above all else, regardless of their cause.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?