7.4/10
4,994
51 user 30 critic

Way Down East (1920)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 3 September 1920 (USA)
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

Writers:

Lottie Blair Parker (from the play by), William A. Brady (play) (as Wm. A. Brady) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lillian Gish ... Anna Moore
Richard Barthelmess ... David Bartlett
Mrs. David Landau Mrs. David Landau ... Anna Moore's Mother
Lowell Sherman ... Lennox Sanderson
Burr McIntosh ... Squire Bartlett
Josephine Bernard Josephine Bernard ... Mrs. Emma Tremont
Mrs. Morgan Belmont Mrs. Morgan Belmont ... Diana Tremont
Patricia Fruen Patricia Fruen ... Diana's Sister
Florence Short Florence Short ... The Eccentric Aunt
Kate Bruce ... Mrs. Bartlett
Vivia Ogden Vivia Ogden ... Martha Perkins
Porter Strong Porter Strong ... Seth Holcomb
George Neville George Neville ... Constable Rube Whipple
Edgar Nelson ... Hi Holler
Mary Hay Mary Hay ... Kate Brewster - the Squire's Niece
Edit

Storyline

The callous rich, portrayed by Lennox, think only of their own pleasure. Anna is but a poor country girl whom Lennox tricks into a fake wedding. She believes that it is true, but secret, while he has his way with her. When she is pregnant, he leaves her and she must have the baby, named Trust Lennox, on her own. When the baby dies she wanders until she gets a job with Squire Bartlett. David falls for her, but she rejects him due to her past and then Lennox shows up lusting for Kate. Seeing Anna, he tries to get her to leave, but she doesn't, and she tells no one about his past. When Squire Bartlett learns of her past from Martha, the town gossip, he tosses Anna out in a snow storm. But before she goes, she fingers the respected Lennox, as the father of her dead baby and the spoiler of herself. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A simple story for plain people. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Clarine Seymour, a regular player in D.W. Griffith's films at the time, was originally cast in the role of Kate, Squire Bartlett's niece and David Bartlett's fiancée. Seymour had actually completed most of her scenes when she fell ill from a strangulated intestine. She died on April 25, 1920, following emergency surgery. Griffith replaced her in the role with dancer Mary Hay, who resembled Seymour in long shots. Although David Bartlett does not marry Kate in "Way Down East", Richard Barthelmess, who played David, later married Mary Hay. See more »

Goofs

Around the 1 hr and 38 minute mark, Martha visits the Squire and encounters Anna at the door. She enters the room and gives Anna a disapproving look. Behind Anna is the door. When the view changes to a long shot of the room, Martha is still engaging with Anna, but now both are to the left of the door instead of standing in front of it. See more »

Quotes

Squire Bartlett: For all we know she might be some loose woman wanderin' 'round. I won't take her inter my hum!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (2019) See more »

User Reviews

 
Gish brings it home
12 October 2001 | by Rainsford55See all my reviews

Lillian Gish and fellow co-stars really bring home this great drama. It's interesting and exciting and wonderful to watch. Surely a legend of the 20th Century, Mr Griffith outdid himself with this successful film and Gish can only be praised for a great performance. Her pain and despair can be felt in the scene's where she realises she's been 'betrayed' and she nurses her child while he slips from this world. It's acting at it's finest for no words were necessary, it's all in 'the look'. Certainly 10 out of 10, but if I were to make one comment about this film in the negative, it would be it's length. Perhaps 15 to 20 minutes too long. Otherwise it's majestic.


16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 51 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

3 September 1920 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mädchenlos See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1931 re-release) | (Alpha Video)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed