Way Down East (1920)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  3 September 1920 (USA)
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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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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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

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?


During the filming of the ice floe scenes, a fire had to be built underneath G.W. Bitzer's camera in order to keep it warm enough to run. 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 »


Referenced in The Widow from Chicago (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

Gish brings it home
12 October 2001 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

Lillian Gish and fellow co-stars really bring home this great drama. It's interesting and exciting and wonderful to watch. Surely a legend of the 20th Century, Mr Griffith outdid himself with this successful film and Gish can only be praised for a great performance. Her pain and despair can be felt in the scene's where she realises she's been 'betrayed' and she nurses her child while he slips from this world. It's acting at it's finest for no words were necessary, it's all in 'the look'. Certainly 10 out of 10, but if I were to make one comment about this film in the negative, it would be it's length. Perhaps 15 to 20 minutes too long. Otherwise it's majestic.

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