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Hearts of the World (1918)

TV-PG | | Drama, War | June 1918 (UK)
Young lovers in a French village are torn apart with the coming of the Great War.



(English translation) (as Capt. Victor Marier), (scenario) (as M. Gaston de Tolignac)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adolph Lestina ... The Grandfather
... The Mother
... The Girl - Marie Stephenson
... The Boy - Douglas Gordon Hamilton
Jack Cosgrave ... The Father of the Boy
Kate Bruce ... The Mother of the Boy
... The Boy's Littlest Brother
Marion Emmons ... The Boy's Other Brother (as M. Emmons)
Francis Marion ... The Boy's Other Brother (as F. Marion)
... The Little Disturber
... Monsieur Cuckoo
... The Village Carpenter
... Von Strohm
Fay Holderness ... The Innkeeper
L. Lowry ... A Deaf and Blind Musician


A group of youngsters grow up and love in a peaceful French village. But war intrudes and peace is shattered. The German army invades and occupies village, bringing both destruction and torture. The young people of the village resist, some successfully, others tragically, until French troops retake the town. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Drama | War






Release Date:

June 1918 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Love's Struggle  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the novel "Rilla of Ingleside", the last chapter of the well known "Anne of Green Gables" series, Rilla the main character of the story, goes to see her first "moving pictures": the movie is "Hearts of the World". See more »


Featured in Star Power: The Creation of United Artists (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

The Griffith Style
12 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

The relationship between this Herr Graf and Herr D. W. Griffith has been always complicated, even tumultuous through the years due to artistic considerations and differences. These disputes don't of course lessen the Amerikan director's fundamental importance in cinema history for this German count.

The basic problem with Herr Griffith is that he is sometimes simplistic in his stories and often paternalistic combining religion and conservative values that make some of his work seem very dated.

"Hearts Of The World" has many of those irreconcilable artistic differences for this German count. The film depicts the loves and sorrows of two American citizens in France ( Why do they have to be Americans? Surely there were lovers in France) and their families in a little town during WWI.

During the first part of the film, Herr Griffith depicts the idealized and tranquil lives of the two sweethearts, their families and their neighbours, all in the typical and sentimental Herr Griffith style. There is so much sweetness in the air that this Herr Graf found himself looking forward anxiously to the arrival of Germans. Arrive they finally do, invading the village and poisoning the idyllic life with their brutality and bad manners.

"Hearts Of The World" it is not a pacifist film; it is true that in 1918, the date of the film's release, the world was still licking its wounds after such a big disaster but the end of the war was in sight and new perspectives were emerging making the film's lopsided and patriotic approach seem out of date.

Obviously "Heart Of The World" is a fictional film not a documentary ( although the film includes real war sequences besides a prologue for the British release in which Herr Griffith himself appears in the war trenches and at 10 Downing Street; a good example of Griffith's sense of self importance ) nor does it need to be one but the story lacks interesting and realistic characters.

As this Herr Graf mentioned before, the typical Herr Griffith mannerisms don't reduce his artistic accomplishments and there is much narrative vigor in this film, especially during the war sequences. It has a number of strong scenes, including one wherein our hero is paying a visit to his sweetie ( well, he's on some sort of secret mission while his comrades are being killed trying to retake the village). There is also a beautiful sequence showing our suffering heroine, temporarily deranged, and wandering in the field camp looking for her fiancée. Also outstanding are the decors and the skillful combination of fictional and real war sequences; splendid editing gives motion and emotion to those scenes.

The actors do their best within the limits of Herr Griffith's particular artistic interests; Herr Douglas Gordon Hamilton does well as the handsome hero, a promising bourgeoisie writer before the war. Frau Lillian Gish and her curls, is the typical Herr Griffith heroine, conservative and candid. She will lose her innocence during wartime but emerge the stronger for it. Meanwhile Frau Lillian Gish's sister, Frau Dorothy, playing the Little Disturber overacts painfully while the German actors play their characters as America saw Germans, brutal and ruthless, utterly indifferent to the pain of others.

"Hearts Of The World" is a Herr Griffith film that devotees of the Amerikan film director will enjoy a lot and those who have many differences with the Griffith style, will still appreciate it to some extent if they put aside the Amerikan director's conventional and dated approach to the story and characters.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must attend a soirée full of heartless Teutonic aristocrats.

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

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