After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
At the wedding of Albert and Anna, Karl, the new chauffeur, arrives. Albert is the head butler, second generation to the Baron. Karl soon seems out of place as a servant, and Albert tells ... See full summary »
Henriette and Louise, a foundling, are raised together as sisters. When Louise goes blind, Henriette swears to take care of her forever. They go to Paris to see if Louise's blindness can be cured, but are separated when an aristocrat lusts after Henriette and abducts her. Only Chevalier de Vaudrey is kind to her, and they fall in love. The French Revolution replaces the corrupt Aristocracy with the equally corrupt Robespierre. De Vaudrey, who has always been good to peasants, is condemned to death for being an aristocrat, and Henriette for harboring him. Will revolutionary hero Danton, the only voice for mercy in the new regime, be able to save them from the guillotine? Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
D.W. Griffith decided to enlarge the scope of the melodrama by weaving in historical details from the French Revolution including the historical figures Danton and Robespierre. He made every effort to be true to real events and took additional inspiration from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and History of the French Revolution by Thomas Carlyle, which Lillian Gish noted every major player in the film studied. Carlyle's book was, in fact, also a major influence on Dickens, who took the incident of an aristocrat's carriage running over a small child from Carlyle's book See more »
Early in the Paris scenes there are two bare-chested revolutionaries. One has visible tan lines showing that he had worn a 20s lifeguard-style two-strap bathing suit. See more »
Often Exciting, Often Moving, & A Triumph For the Gish Sisters
The story is often exciting and often moving, yet the chance to see Lillian and Dorothy Gish together might be the best reason of all to watch Griffith's silent classic, "Orphans of the Storm". The story combines the tumultuous backdrop of the French Revolution with a worthwhile melodrama involving the ordeals of two sisters who are practically alone in the world.
The French Revolution used to be a frequent setting for some fine films
between the ideas involved and the upheavals that it brought, it's
almost ready-made for cinema. Here, as the two sisters, Lillian and Dorothy are struggling to help each other when they are caught up in the turmoil around them, and they find themselves involved with everyone from the lowest classes of society up to some of the best-known personalities of the Revolution.
The historical background is often stylized, and it is mainly there to lend drama to the story about the sisters, rather than to provide an accurate look at history. The characterizations of some of the revolutionary leaders are interesting, but they are not always accurate. Yet from a purely dramatic viewpoint it works well. The involved story, along with the personal appeal of Gish sisters, combine to win the audience's sympathy quickly, and to heighten the tension as the story plays out. It's a well-acted and memorable melodrama.
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