7.7/10
217
8 user 2 critic

Isn't Life Wonderful (1924)

A family of Polish refugees tries to survive in post-World War I Germany. For a while it seems that they are making it, but soon the economic and political deterioration in the country begins to take their toll.

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Gum-chewing frizzy-haired gold-digger Marie Skinner cooks up a scheme with her lover Babe Winsor, a jazz hound, to fleece a portly, middle-aged real estate tycoon, William Judson. Marie ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Jean Hersholt, Phyllis Haver, Belle Bennett
America (1924)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of a family caught up in the American Revolutionary War.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Neil Hamilton, Carol Dempster, Erville Alderson
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An episodic biography of the 16th President of the United States.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne
The Struggle (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple's marriage is jeopardized by the husband's descent into alcoholism.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Hal Skelly, Zita Johann, Charlotte Wynters
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Geoffrey, a young and impoverished writer, is desperately in love with Mavis, who lives at his boardinghouse and is also pursuing a writing career. Unable to marry her because of his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Ricardo Cortez, Carol Dempster
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Judge Foster throws his daughter out because she married a circus man. She leaves her baby girl with Prof. McGargle before she dies. Years later Sally is a dancer with whom Peyton, a son of... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Carol Dempster, W.C. Fields, Alfred Lunt
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Karl, a German diplomat in Paris, discovers that his fiancee, Diane, has been cheating on him. He tells her that he would rather marry a "girl of the streets" than her. Outraged, Diane ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lupe Velez, Jetta Goudal, Albert Conti
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young orphan girl, courted by an unpleasant older wealthy man who has a hold over her adoptive mother, falls in love with a young stranger at a party. Odd noises begin to be heard as a ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Carol Dempster, Henry Hull, Porter Strong
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An orphan girl is given shelter by a farm family, but soon finds herself in the clutches of a murderous farmer and his wife.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Ralph Graves
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A wealthy young Southern aristocrat, Joseph, graduates from a seminary and, before he takes charge of his assigned parish, decides to go out and see what "the real world" is all about. He ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Mae Marsh, Carol Dempster, Ivor Novello
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An idealistic young American during World War I, itching to fight the Germans and not wanting to wait until the U. S. joined the war, journeys to Canada and enlists in the British army. He ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: George Fawcett, Lillian Gish, Robert Harron
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Inga
...
Paul
...
The professor
Helen Lowell ...
Grandmother
Marcia Harris ...
The aunt
...
Theodor
...
Leader of the Workers
Paul Rehkopf ...
Hungry Worker
Walter Plimmer ...
The American (as Walter Plimmer Jr.)
Edit

Storyline

The story follows a Polish professor and his family who have become refugees in the aftermath of World War I. They try to survive in Germany during the period of the Great Inflation. Carol Dempster is Inga, a Polish war orphan who struggles to provide for the family that has taken her in, while accumulating a meager dowry from the rubble of depression-stricken Berlin so that she can marry Paul. Returning to his family, weakened by the battlefront's poisonous gases, Paul invests in his and Inga's future by tending a secret garden which he hopes will provide the resources for them to live, and which serves as a symbol of optimism for the two young lovers. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

5 December 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dawn  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copy with English titles at Brussels Musée du Cinéma)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Down To Earth Film

There are a lot of essential and distinguished silent film pioneers who contributed greatly to film history with their mastery of cinema art but they do not always appeal to all of the world's silent film fans. It is a question of personal preference that does not deny their important merits, natürlich!!. For example there is a strained relationship between this German count and Herr D. W. Griffith.

But fortunately there is always an exception that proves the rule, a film that plays to the strengths of the director and will even impress a German count who has his own standards.

"Isn't Life Wonderful" is a masterpiece, a film that has the usual Griffith story subjects ( of course there's an orphan) and is impeccably directed.

The film tells the story of a family of Polish refugees in Germany in the hard times of the aftermath of the WWI. It was a struggle to survive and make a living as there was unemployment, hunger, a financial disaster dominated by uncontrollable inflation and terrible social conditions. Herr Griffith depicts these tragedies perfectly. In spite of facing a gloomy future, the couple that stars in the film, Dame Inga ( Dame Carol Dempster in a moving performance ) and Herr Paul ( Neil Hamilton ) try to bear these troublesome times with some optimism, a complicated task in itself given that disease almost kills Herr Paul and one can hardly forget that hunger makes turnips the German national food par excellence. Nevertheless, Inga and Paul face those problems with inner strength and unconditional love.

Herr Griffith handles the story in a realistic way, without moralizing and avoiding the tearful aspects of the story ( an important aspect that this German count appreciates very much ) or demonizing people. After all everyone suffered the social and financial crises in their own way. This is a down to earth film that shows a harsh reality tempered by hope and contains beautiful scenes that broke the heart of a heartless German count. There are outstanding scenes, particularly the one where Inga and Paul are chased through the woods by hungry and unemployed workers, an excellent example of classic Herr Griffith editing.

To make a film about such difficult times and striking the right balance between realism and a larger than life love story that intertwines sadness and hope is a task only a few of the great silent film masters could accomplish and to this German aristocrat, forgetting old rivalries, it must said that Herr D. W. Griffith was one of those.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must avoid the financial crisis of his Teutonic heiresses.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?