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Orphans of the Storm (1921)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 1922 (Poland)
Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Count de Linieres
Katherine Emmet ...
Countess de Linieres
Marquis de Praille
Mother Frochard
Sheldon Lewis ...
Pierre Frochard
Sidney Herbert ...
Lee Kohlmar ...
Marcia Harris ...
Henriette's Landlady
Adolph Lestina ...


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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1922 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

A két árva  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


William J. Walsh, an extra playing a soldier, was killed on set when a prop rifle he was leaning on went off by accident; although the weapon was loaded with a blank cartridge, the wadding from a blank fired at point-blank range is capable of inflicting serious injury or death. 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 »


Referenced in Cinema Puerto Rico: una antropología visual (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Lavish Epic Romance
29 December 2002 | by (Sun Prairie, WI) – See all my reviews

D.W. Griffith loved epic stories full of dangerous situations and damsels in distress. With the beautiful and talented Gish sisters, he got two damsels for the price of one. "Orphans of the Storm" is probably the most beautiful of all Griffith features. The lavish detailing of the sets is much better than "Intolerance" or "Broken Blossoms" and the costumes are magnificent. By this time in Griffith's career, his direction was already beginning to become stale and his plots too old-fashioned, but somehow he makes "Orphans" work to his advantage.

Lillian Gish is Henriette Girard and her sister Dorothy plays her "Sister" Louise. The amazing Joseph Schildkraut plays de Vaudrey, a nobleman who truly is noble. The "storm" in the title refers to the French Revolution, which is the background this story of family and romantic love plays itself upon.

As usual, Lillian Gish is wonderful in her role as the devoted sister Henriette; but it is Dorothy Gish as blind sister Louise who is truly the star of the film. Her performance drips with the pathos, pain, and longing that most people associate with her older sister. Schildkraut shines in this, his first Hollywood film role.

The frequent ridiculous scenes (Danton running to save Henriette from the executioner's blade?) and length of the film will turn most modern viewers off; but those who have a love of history, epic spectacle, and the timeless beauty of the Gish sisters will enjoy "Orphans of the Storm".

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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