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Hearts of the World
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Hearts of the World (1918) More at IMDbPro »

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D.W. Griffith (English translation)
D.W. Griffith (scenario)
View company contact information for Hearts of the World on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
June 1918 (UK) See more »
The Sweetest Love Story ever told (original poster) See more »
Young lovers in a French village are torn apart with the coming of the Great War. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(3 articles)
Top Movies of the Teens
 (From Alt Film Guide. 26 March 2013, 7:33 PM, PDT)

La Boheme
 (From Blogdanovich. 17 August 2011, 3:40 AM, PDT)

Hollywood’s First War
 (From SoundOnSight. 11 November 2010, 12:58 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
All This and World War Won See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order)
Adolph Lestina ... The Grandfather
Josephine Crowell ... The Mother

Lillian Gish ... The Girl - Marie Stephenson

Robert Harron ... The Boy - Douglas Gordon Hamilton
Jack Cosgrave ... The Father of the Boy
Kate Bruce ... The Mother of the Boy

Ben Alexander ... The Boy's Littlest Brother
Marion Emmons ... The Boy's Other Brother (as M. Emmons)
Francis Marion ... The Boy's Other Brother (as F. Marion)

Dorothy Gish ... The Little Disturber
Robert Anderson ... Monsieur Cuckoo
George Fawcett ... The Village Carpenter
George Siegmann ... Von Strohm
Fay Holderness ... The Innkeeper
L. Lowry ... A Deaf and Blind Musician
Eugene Pouyet ... A Poilu
Anna Mae Walthall ... A French Peasant Girl
Yvette Duvoisin ... A Refugee (as Yvette Duvoison of the Comédie Française)
Herbert Sutch ... A French Major
George Nichols ... A German Sergeant
Mary Gish ... A Refugee Mother (as Mrs. Mary Gish)
Mary Hay ... A Dancer

Erich von Stroheim ... A Hun

Noel Coward ... The Man with the Wheelbarrow / A Villager in the Streets
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bettie Mae Clarke ... Nursing Infant
Mae Clarke ... Nursing Mother
Elizabeth Asquith ... Nurse (uncredited)
Alphonse Dufort ... A Poilu (uncredited)
Jean Dumercier ... A Poilu (uncredited)
Louise Emmons ... (uncredited)
Valerie Germonprez ... Red Cross nurse (uncredited)
Edward Grey ... Himself - British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Addressing House of Commons (archive footage) (uncredited)

D.W. Griffith ... Himself (in prologue for British release) (uncredited)
John Harron ... A Boy with a Barrel (uncredited)
Mary Harron ... A Wounded Girl (uncredited)
Mrs. Harron ... A Woman with Daughter (uncredited)
Tessie Harron ... A Refugee (uncredited)
Lady Lavery ... Nurse (uncredited)
Jules Lemontier ... A Stretcher Bearer (uncredited)
David Lloyd George ... Himself - the British Prime Minister (in prologue for British release) (uncredited)
Georges Loyer ... A Poilu (uncredited)
Diana Manners ... Nurse (uncredited)
Gaston Riviere ... A Stretcher Bearer (uncredited)
Bettina Stuart-Wortley ... Nurse (uncredited)
René Viviani ... Himself - the French Premier Addressing French Chamber of Deputies (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Directed by
D.W. Griffith (under the personal direction of)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
D.W. Griffith  English translation (as Capt. Victor Marier)
D.W. Griffith  scenario (as M. Gaston de Tolignac)

Produced by
D.W. Griffith .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
G.W. Bitzer (uncredited)
Alfred Machin (uncredited)
Hendrik Sartov (uncredited)
Film Editing by
James Smith (uncredited)
Rose Smith (uncredited)
Art Department
Frank Wortman .... set designer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Karl Brown .... second camera operator (uncredited)
D.P. Cooper .... photographer: Europe (uncredited)
Music Department
Carli Elinor .... music arranger (uncredited)
D.W. Griffith .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Denys Allen Clarke .... production assistant
Donald Clarke .... production assistant
D.W. Griffith .... presenter
Erich von Stroheim .... technical supervisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
117 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Cast member Robert Harron's entire family was cast in this film.See more »
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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
All This and World War Won, 15 December 2007
Author: wes-connors from Earth

Two American families, the Hamiltons and the Stephensons, have immigrated to a tranquil French village. As the film begins, Robert Harron (as "the Boy" Douglas Hamilton) and Lillian Gish (as "the Girl" Marie Stephenson) return home from separate trips. Lillian is obviously infatuated with Mr. Harron, and sets out to win his heart. Meanwhile, singer Dorothy Gish (as "The Little Disturber") arrives in town; and she, with "perseverance and perfume", also sets her sights on handsome Harron. While Dorothy's efforts at seduction are valiant, Harron proposes to Lillian. As they plan their wedding, their lives are interrupted by a bigger "disturber" - The Great War (now called World War I)…

This film, another huge hit for the director, was "commissioned" by the British government (note the introduction), and must have secured the blessings of both the U.S. and French governments. The purpose was to create a pro-war, propaganda epic. Although the film is patriotic, and the war is never exactly shown as unnecessary; it leaves an unmistakable impression as an ANTI-war film. So, what started as "A Love Story of the Great War" becomes "A Love Story Interrupted by a Great War".

Griffith reveals his true anti-war sentiments with the statement, "After all, does war ever settle any question? The South was ruined - thousands of lives were sacrificed -- by the Civil War; yet, did it really settle the Black and White problem in this country?" (This question also offers, arguably, some redemption for Griffith's tendency for racial insensitivity. It's too bad Griffith's "The Greatest Thing in Life" is currently unavailable; in it, Harron shocked audiences by kissing a dying Black soldier.)

In hindsight, it's easy to dismiss "Hearts of the World" as a Griffith production line effort. While it's derivative in film techniques (Griffith's own); it still equals, and sometimes bests, earlier work - for example, witness the improved upon (from "The Birth of a Nation") climatic ending, with Gish frantically trying to escape George Siegmann (as Von Strohm)'s clutches. This, and the battle sequences are, at least, up to the standards set by Griffith; so, it may be unfair to think of "Hearts of the World" as relatively minor. It would likely have won a "Best Picture" of the year, had they been given. Robert Harron would have won an additional "Best Actor" award; and, while Lillian Gish might have lost to Mary Pickford's "Stella Maris", sister Dorothy Gish would have earned a "Best Supporting Actress" award.

Also watch for… G.W. Bitzer's amazing camera work. The explicit, but appropriate scene of a mother nursing her baby during wartime. Dorothy licking her lips over Harron, but settling for "Cuckoo" Robert Anderson. Griffith's parallel symbolism, right down to Gish's goslings and Harron's little brothers. Lillian wandering into madness, and spending her wedding night with her beloved's "corpse". Griffith "regulars" Siegmann, and "mothers" Kate Bruce and Josephine Crowell, who always stand out in lesser roles. Harron very quietly falling in love with the infatuated Lillian, while being pursued by seductive Dorothy; demonstrating the difference between lust (when he kisses Dorothy back) and love (when he eyes Lillian's figure).

There are members of the Harron and Gish families in the cast (and a Walthall), which would be nice to have somebody identify (they are probably somewhere in the opening). Noel Coward may be difficult to recognize; he follows Gish, early on, with a wheelbarrow. Erich von Stroheim is very easy to spot, clicking his Hun heels for the camera. Incredibly, scene-stealing littlest brother Ben Alexander grew up to serve (memorably, as Franz) in Lewis Milestone's "All Quiet on the Western Front" (which owes some debt to this film); later, he co-stared in "Dragnet".

********** Hearts of the World (3/12/18) D.W. Griffith ~ Robert Harron, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Ben Alexander

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