Hearts Of The World

1292. HEARTS OF THE WORLD (1918-USA). WITH Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Dorothy Gish, ERICH VON STROHEIM. Directed by D.W. GRIFFITH. During World War I. Griffith was invited by the British to travel abroad and shoot a propaganda film that would enhance the war effort as well as convince America to enter the conflict He agreed (even though the United Slates did become involved in the war before his shooting began), and the result is Hearts OF THE WORLD. This underrated epic is ever so typical of Griffith in that it’s a carefully realized combination of sentimentality and realism. The scenario tells the fate of “The Boy,” (Robert Harron), a young man who goes to war. He’s fallen in love with ÒThe Girl,” (Lillian Gish); their scenes together as their relationship blosÂsoms are especially lovely. Even more telling, however, is the transformation of Mary, as she grows from a young, girlish innocent into a mature woman who must kill when necessary. This is the first feature in which Miss Lillian has the lead role, the character who is the true heart of the conflict, and she ever so effectively reveals why she is considered the preeminent actress of the “Silent” film era. In spite of Lillian’s fine performance, though, the acting honors go to sister Dorothy; she displays her formidable aptitude fur comedy in the role of “The Little Disturber.” and in so doing steals the film from Lillian and everyone else. HEARTS OF THE WORLD WAS shut on location in France, not far from the actual fighting. The Littlest Brother is played by BEN ALEXANDER, popular silent film child star, who Brew up to play character roles in films and on television. MARY GISH, mother of Lillian and Dorothy, is cast as The Refugee Mother, and none other than ERICH VON STROHEIM appears in several scenes in the role of who else? Éa lecherous Hun. An additional treat: look for NOEL COWARD, as The Man With the Wheelbarrow and a Villager in the streets. Silent film with original organ score, correct projection speed. 152 minutes. D.W. Griffith