Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 21, 2009


It’s the mother-of-all melodramas, and wiseguys have been scoffing at its old-fashioned ways & means since before it was released. Even its star, Lillian Gish, ‘What? That ol’ thing?’ But D. W. Griffith pulled it off with a combination of showmanship (particularly in the use of real & very dangerous locations); film technique (especially in the clear editing of parallel storylines); and his complete belief in seemingly inert material. Gish is just about perfect as the naive girl who’s tricked into a mock marriage and then loses her newborn child. Friendless & wandering, she stumbles into a new life at a country estate (with a handsome son, natch) when her old nemesis shows up. So close to redemption, so close to finding love, so close to a chance at happiness! And then, the man who got her into all this trouble turns out to be the well-liked gentleman neighbor. Cue the Ice Storm! As the farmer’s son who quickly falls in love with Gish, young Richard Barthelmess is disarmingly open-hearted & intimate which brings out a new sensuous note from Gish while Lowell Sherman makes his seducer villain almost shockingly nonchalant. There’s an awful lot of rural comedy in the supporting roles, far too much in the case of Martha, the town gossip, but it gets a surprising amount of laughs (there’s a hilarious Post Office porch tableaux), and it works as mortar to help shore up the melodramatic bricks. The last three reels play out as a thrilling series of climaxes, including the legendary/gasp-worthy rescue on the ice floes sequence. The superb restoration on KINO from the MoMA archives is tinted too darkly, but it’s by far the most complete edition since . . . well, since 1920, and the varying print quality (from very good to pretty rough) makes for a nice little history lesson in film preservation.

No comments: