11 user 1 critic

The Greatest Question (1919)

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


D.W. Griffith


William Hale (novel), Stanner E.V. Taylor




Credited cast:
Lillian Gish ... Nellie Jarvis
Robert Harron ... Jimmie Hilton
Ralph Graves ... John Hilton Jr.
Eugenie Besserer ... Mrs. Hilton
George Fawcett ... Mr. Hilton
Tom Wilson ... Uncle Zeke
George Nichols ... Martin Cain
Josephine Crowell ... Mrs. Cain
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Katherine Albert Katherine Albert


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

religion | based on novel | See All (2) »


Plays on the emotions of men and women like an inspired musician on a harp (Print Ad- Washington Herald, ((Washington D.C.)) 11 January 1920)




Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Note - Anyone advertising a picture as a Griffith production without the name "Griffith" and trademark "DG" on each film is guilty of fraudulent advertising. See more »


References The Birth of a Nation (1915) See more »

User Reviews

Bittersweet Lillian Gish performance
15 January 2005 | by overseer-3See all my reviews

"The Greatest Question" is a simple melodrama which includes all the elements for a suspenseful motion picture, and is played by a very experienced cast of DW Griffth players, who do their best to make this film unique. What sets it apart from others of its ilk is its constant illusions to biblical themes of love, faith, prayer, and forgiveness.

Lillian is great as always as an innocent girl who is taken advantage of by the evil neighbors of a family who take her in after her mother dies. The family hits upon hard times and the girl is hired out as a servant to them, with terrifying consequences. Robert Harron is so handsome and wholesome as the young lad she falls in love with. It's always a delight to see Lillian and Bobby together on film. Fans of the two won't be disappointed.

I give the film a 9 out of 10. The print I saw had lots of artifacts but was still watchable and the camera work of Billy Blitzer, Griffith's cinematographer, was very poetic and pretty here.

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None | English

Release Date:

28 December 1919 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mayor problema See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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