IMDb > Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919)
Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl
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Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919) More at IMDbPro »

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Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl -- A frail waif, abused by her brutish boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.


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Thomas Burke (adapted from a story by)
D.W. Griffith (writer)
View company contact information for Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 October 1919 (USA) See more »
A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
The best of all Griffith films See more (81 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lillian Gish ... Lucy - The Girl (as Miss Lillian Gish)

Richard Barthelmess ... The Yellow Man (as Mr. Richard Barthelmess)

Donald Crisp ... Battling Burrows
Arthur Howard ... His Manager

Edward Peil Sr. ... Evil Eye (as Edward Peil)

George Beranger ... The Spying One
Norman Selby ... A Prizefighter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernest Butterworth ... Secondary Role (uncredited)
Fred Hamer ... Secondary Role (uncredited)
Wilbur Higby ... London Policeman (uncredited)
Man-Ching Kwan ... Buddhist Monk (uncredited)
Steve Murphy ... Fight Spectator (uncredited)

George Nichols ... Secondary Role (uncredited)
Karla Schramm ... Secondary Role (uncredited)
Bessie Wong ... Girl in China (uncredited)

Directed by
D.W. Griffith (under the personal direction of)
Writing credits
Thomas Burke (adapted from a story by)

D.W. Griffith (writer)

Produced by
D.W. Griffith .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
G.W. Bitzer (photography by)
Film Editing by
James Smith (uncredited)
Art Department
Joseph Stringer .... set builder (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Hendrik Sartov .... visual effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Karl Brown .... camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
David Cullen .... orchestrator (1983 version)
Carl Davis .... conductor (1983 re-release)
Carl Davis .... music adaptor (1983 re-release)
Carl Davis .... music arranger (1983 re-release)
Joseph Turrin .... conductor (2001 version)
Louis F. Gottschalk .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Man-Ching Kwan .... technical advisor (uncredited)
James B. Leong .... interpreter: Chinese (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Broken Blossoms" - International (English title) (imdb display title), USA (short title)
See more »
90 min
Black and White (tinted screen)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | UK:15 (DVD rating) | UK:PG (official rating) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1996.See more »
Factual errors: The intertitles state, "The Buddha says, 'What thou dost not want others to do thee, do thou not to others.'" It was actually not the Buddha but Confucius' teaching.See more »
Battling Burrows:Put a smile on yer face, can't yer?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Out of Africa (1985)See more »


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38 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
The best of all Griffith films, 29 December 2002
Author: Shelly_Servo3000 from Sun Prairie, WI

Many people believe the best Griffith film is "Intolerance"; some stand by "Way Down East" and still others believe in "Birth of a Nation" despite all its problems. However, I think "Broken Blossoms" is the Griffith film which stands the test of time and still rings true today, over 83 years from its debut.

"Broken Blossoms" is the story of two wounded, abused, seemingly hopeless individuals who find comfort and strength in one another. The Chinaman (played by Richard Barthelmess) and little Lucy Burrows (played by Lillian Gish) are as different as night is to day, however they complement each other and give each other what the other needs; Lucy gives the Chinaman respect as a human being, he in turn gives Lucy affection and love.

What happens to the two souls is, in my opinion, one of the most heartbreaking turn of events ever filmed. The brutal treatment of Lucy by her father and the ultimate sadness of the Chinaman at the end of the film always reduce me to tears.

Those who believe that silent movies are inferior to today's craft really needs to see "Broken Blossoms" and open their hearts and minds to a world that is beyond beauty and beyond pain.

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