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AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Lillian Gish (TV) More at IMDbPro »The American Film Institute Salute to Lillian Gish (original title)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

FROM SILENT TO SOUND

5/10
Author: Howard Morley (luke@morleys.demon.co.uk) from London, England
3 April 2003

I must admit to an ulterior motive for buying this video.As I had collected all the 24 films of Jennifer Jones (JJ), 25 if you include the two versions of "The Wild Heart"/"Gone To Earth", or 26 if you include her 2001 A&E biography tape); I wanted to see JJ at later date than 1974, when she did her last film, "The Towering Inferno".

The present video is dated 1984 and JJ gives a eulogy to her old friend Lillian Gish concerning the two films they did together.These were: "Duel In The Sun" (1946) when Lillian plays LauraBelle McCanless, the senator's wife who is kindly disposed to Pearl Chavez and "Portrait Of Jennie (1948) when she played a convincing mother superior at the convent where Jennie Appleton studied .Lillian had to make the grade, (not achieved by many silent actors), of allaying the necessary melodramatic facial and bodily gestures needed for "silents" and learn to adopt the more naturalistic approach particulary the necessary vocal skills which were required from 1927 when "talkies" first came into cinemas.However her death scene in "Duel" has been criticised as being laughably melodramatic by other reviewers.

Lillian appeared in D.W. Griffiths seminal "Birth Of A Nation" (1915) and there are copious clips from various silent productions in which Lillian appeared, well hosted by Douglas Fairbanks Jnr with a galaxy of stars.Colleen Moore plays a major role in the euologies and tributes were spoken by Bob Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Jeanne Moreau and in the audience I noticed Fred Astaire and Cary Grant.I have looked in vain for a later and similar tribute to Gregory Peck from 1989 where JJ gave a similar eulogy, and I think there should be other similar tribute videos available.

In her long career, Lillian played many different parts and like JJ did not seem type cast.If you would like to see a pot-pourri of Lillian Gish's different roles as a prelude to perhaps buying one of her films on video, this is a good introduction.

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Great Tribute to Gish

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
7 February 2012

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Lillian Gish (1984)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Legendary actress Lillian Gish is the guest as she receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. serves as host and starts off by talking how Gish has pretty much been in movies since the format really took off. From here we have a wide range of guests paying tribute to Gish including Sally Field, John Huston, Jeanne Moreau, Robert Mitchum, George Stevens. Jr., Lily Tomlin, Richard Widmark, Colleen Moore, Eva Marie Saint, Richard Tomas and Jennifer Jones among others. Fans of Gish are certainly going to enjoy this tribute and fans of silent cinema are really going to enjoy the tribute to them. It's funny hearing Gish talk about how she hopes silent movies would come back and just wait until you hear the audience reaction to the ending of WAY DOWN EAST. Mitchum tells a great story about him questioning Charles Laughton when he learned Gish was hired for the part of the protector. Huston tells a touching story about his father working with Gish and also states that the evening is not only a tribute to the actress but also D.W. Griffith. Speaking of Griffith, it's great to hear the respect he's shown here, which certainly isn't the case when he's discussed today, which is a real shame. Carl Davis also plays the score to the various silent film clips that are shown and the work is quite remarkable. Fans of Gish will certainly want to check out this tribute as it really is one of the last love letters to silent cinema until more recent times.

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