August 29th, 2004

Broken Blossoms

is an old silent film (1919) staring Lillian Gish as a young damsel in distress, which was a frequent role for her. It was directed by D.W. Griffith, as were so many of her films. It's available in DVD, and there are at least 2 versions available. One version has a film score by "Louis F. Gottschalk."

Obviously, this is not the really famous composer named Louis Gottschalk, because his middle name was Moreau and he was already dead when the movie was made. I found someone on the the net who heard that Louis F. was the nephew of Louis M. Louis F. seems to have been an early movie music composer.

I've seen a lot of silent movies where the music didn't integrate well with the screen action. I have been known to hit the mute button when watching silent films at home! But I found this one matched the action very well.

Lillian Gish's acting is very impressive here, but the story is kind of a downer. Gish is the daughter of a prize fighter who treats her like a slave and whips her. A Chinese immigrant befriends her, in some very touching scenes, but it all ends tragically.

(Gish, by the way, seems to have been a favorite actress of Ayn Rand's husband, Frank O'Connor. He appeared in one of her films, Orphans of the Storm.)

Rhyme of the day:

She finds a friend
But still it ends

Other credits for Louis F.:

More on Louis Moreau, whose music I enjoy:

More on Broken Blossoms: