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Way Down East (1920)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  3 September 1920 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 3,625 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 23 critic

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.



(from the play by), (play) (as Wm. A. Brady) , 3 more credits »
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Airs Wed. Oct. 14, 3:00 PM on TCM


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. David Landau ...
Lowell Sherman ...
Burr McIntosh ...
Josephine Bernard ...
Mrs. Emma Tremont
Mrs. Morgan Belmont ...
Diana Tremont
Patricia Fruen ...
Diana's Sister
Florence Short ...
The Eccentric Aunt
Kate Bruce ...
Mrs. Bartlett
Vivia Ogden ...
Porter Strong ...
George Neville ...
Constable Rube Whipple
Edgar Nelson ...
Mary Hay ...
Kate Brewster - the Squire's Niece


The callous rich, portrayed by Lennox, think only of their own pleasure. Anna is but a poor country girl whom Lennox tricks into a fake wedding. She believes that it is true, but secret, while he has his way with her. When she is pregnant, he leaves her and she must have the baby, named Trust Lennox, on her own. When the baby dies she wanders until she gets a job with Squire Bartlett. David falls for her, but she rejects him due to her past and then Lennox shows up lusting for Kate. Seeing Anna, he tries to get her to leave, but she doesn't, and she tells no one about his past. When Squire Bartlett learns of her past from Martha, the town gossip, he tosses Anna out in a snow storm. But before she goes, she fingers the respected Lennox, as the father of her dead baby and the spoiler of herself. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A simple story for plain people.


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

3 September 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mädchenlos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1931 re-release) | (Alpha Video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scenes on the ice floes were not only very dangerous to film, but for Lillian Gish, they had lasting ill effects. Until the day she died, her right hand was somewhat impaired due to the extended filming where her hand was in the icy water. See more »


Anna Moore: This man, an honored guest at your table, why don't you find out what HIS life has been?
See more »

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User Reviews

Gish's Best
6 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As Gish once said, ".......Silent movies were well on their way to developing an entirely new art form. It was not just pantomime, but something wonderfully expressive." It is that expressive ability, which in Talking Movies and still today, more than any other characteristic, defines the success of an actor or actress. As it was back then referred to as "The Look", this ability was Gish's trademark, and has never been done better by anyone. In Way Down East, she set the benchmark for this ability. In my opinion, the best work of her career. If you haven't seen it, do, and you'll wonder who in screen history can rival "Her Look".

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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