7.3/10
8,964
87 user 77 critic

Broken Blossoms (1919)

Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 20 October 1919 (USA)
A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director:

D.W. Griffith

Writers:

Thomas Burke (adapted from 'The Chink and the Child' by), D.W. Griffith
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Way Down East (1920)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
Les vampires (1915)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Director: Louis Feuillade
Stars: Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Marcel Lévesque
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Young lovers in a French village are torn apart with the coming of the Great War.

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

Susie, a plain young country girl, secretly loves a neighbor boy, William. She believes in him and sacrifices much of her own happiness to promote his own ambitions, all without his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Wilbur Higby
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated black woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished black youths.

Director: Oscar Micheaux
Stars: Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements, James D. Ruffin
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man to reflect on his selfish, wasted life.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg
Short | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, A.C. Abadie, George Barnes
Comedy | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man returns to his Appalachian homestead. On the trip, he falls for a young woman. The only problem is her family has vowed to kill every member of his family.

Directors: John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

John Logan leaves his parents and sweetheart in bucolic Happy Valley to make his fortune in the city. Those he left behind become miserable and beleaguered in his absence, but after several... See full summary »

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

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lillian Gish ... Lucy - The Girl (as Miss Lillian Gish)
Richard Barthelmess ... Cheng Huan - The Yellow Man (as Mr. Richard Barthelmess)
Donald Crisp ... Battling Burrows
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Battling Burrows' Manager
Edward Peil Sr. ... Evil Eye (as Edward Peil)
George Beranger ... The Spying One
Norman Selby Norman Selby ... A Prizefighter
Edit

Storyline

Cheng Huan is a missionary whose goal is to bring the teachings of peace by Buddha to the civilized Anglo-Saxons. Upon landing in England, he is quickly disillusioned by the intolerance and apathy of the country. He becomes a storekeeper of a small shop. Out his window, he sees the young Lucy Burrows. She is regularly beaten by her prizefighter father, underfed and wears ragged clothes. Even in this deplorable condition, Cheng can see that she is a priceless beauty and he falls in love with her from afar. On the day that she passes out in front of his store, he takes her in and cares for her. With nothing but love in his heart, he dresses her in silks and provides food for her. Still weak, she stays in his shop that night and all that Cheng does is watch over her. The peace and happiness that he sees last only until Battling Burrows finds out that his daughter is with a foreigner. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

tonight- you can enjoy the mystic throb of foreign souls; the flame, the fright, the glory of wondrous scenes. (Print Ad- Bismarck Daily Tribune, ((Bismarck ND)) 19 February 1920)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

20 October 1919 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broken Blossoms See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$88,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted screen)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

D.W. Griffith saw Lillian Gish using her smile gesture with her fingers and decided to incorporate it into the filming. See more »

Goofs

The intertitles state, "The Buddha says, 'What thou dost not want others to do thee, do thou not to others.'" It was actually not the Buddha but Confucius' teaching. See more »

Quotes

Battling Burrows: Pretend yer didn't do it on purpose! I'll learn yer!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Shining (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Well-Acted, Memorable Story
2 November 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

With some excellent acting performances and an interesting, memorable story, "Broken Blossoms" is one of the better pictures of the late 1910s, and it has held up rather well despite a couple of obvious signs of age. It would be hard to top Lillian Gish's performance as Lucy in any era, and Richard Barthelmess turns in a purposefully restrained and surprisingly effective performance in a role that was far from easy.

The story ties together several weighty themes, and most of them are still pertinent. This is the kind of movie that is sometimes considered to be dated, yet in terms of the main conflicts and struggles that the characters face, there are probably fewer differences between 1919 and 2004 than many might wish there to be. With material like this, it is also easy to allow it to become labored or heavy-handed. As it is, the tone is somber and austere throughout, yet most of the time this is in a thoughtful way.

Since Griffith's work is still so well-known and meets with such widely varying responses, it can sometimes be hard to evaluate his movies individually, without reference to the rest of his filmography. The story here is unusual enough in itself, with the different races and religions of the characters and the implied images represented by each of them. Each character is rather quickly defined as good or bad - a common state of affairs in Griffith movies - and as a result the story is told in a way that reflects that presumption, for better or for worse.

What is hard to deny is that the story and characters will stick with you afterwards. The impression that it leaves is not an entirely happy one, but the movie successfully evokes the humanity of all involved, which is a not unworthy goal and a not insignificant achievement.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 87 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed