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  Lillian Gish and Richard Barthelmess.
Lobby card: courtesy Kino Lorber.
Way Down East
(1920) American
Color/B&W : 13 reels
Directed by D.W. Griffith

Cast: Lillian Gish [Anna Moore], Richard Barthelmess [David Bartlett], Mrs. David Landau [Mrs. Moore], Lowell Sherman [Lennox Sanderson], Burr McIntosh [Squire Bartlett], Josephine Bernard [Mrs. Tremont], Mrs. Morgan Belmont [Diana Tremont], Patricia Fruen [Diana’s sister], Florence Short [the eccentric aunt], Kate Bruce [Mrs. Bartlett], Vivia Ogden [Martha Perkins], Porter Strong [Seth Holcomb], George Neville [Reuben Whipple], Edgar Nelson [Hi Holler], Mary Hay [Kate Brewster], Creighton Hale [Professor Sterling], Emily Fitzroy [Maria Poole]; David Landau, Carol Dempster, Una Merkel, Norma Shearer, Alice Shearer, Athole Shearer

D.W. Griffith, Incorporated, production; distributed by United Artists Corporation. / Produced by D.W. Griffith. Scenario by Anthony Paul Kelly, from the play adaptation Way Down East by Lottie Blair Parker and Joseph R. Grismer of the play Annie Laurie by Lottie Blair Parker. Art direction by Charles O. Seessel and Clifford Pember. Set construction by Clark Robinson. Gowns by Lady Duff Gordon. Furs by Otto Kahn, Incorporated. Lillian Gish’s gowns by Mrs. O’Kane Conwell. Associate director, Elmer Clifton. Assistant directors, Herbert Sutch and Frank Walsh. Technical direction by Frank ‘Huck’ Wortman. Production assistance by Leigh Smith. Cinematography by G.W. Bitzer, Hendrik Sartov and Paul H. Allen. Decorative titles by Victor Georg. Edited by James Smith and Rose Smith. Original music score arranged by Louis Silvers and William Frederick Peters. Presented by D.W. Griffith. / © 3 September 1920 by D.W. Griffith, Incorporated [LP15906]. Previewed August 1920 in Middletown, New York, and Kingston, New York. Premiered 3 September 1920 at the 44th Street Theatre in New York, New York. General release, 21 August 1921. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.33:1 format. Technicolor [process two] two-strip color process sequences. / Some footage shot near White River Junction, Vermont. Clarine Seymour appeared in footage early in the film’s production, but the footage was reshot and her role was assumed by Mary Hay after Seymour’s death. The film was shown on a road show basis by Griffith before being turned over to United Artists for general release. The film was rereleased in 1931 with synchronized music and sound effects. The film was restored in 1985 to an approximate 148-minute runtime by the Museum of Modern Art film archive.


Synopsis: Synopsis available in AFI-F1 n. F1.4817.

Survival status: Prints exist in the Museum of Modern Art film archive [35mm restoration negative, 35mm restoration positive]; in the George Eastman Museum film archive [35mm positive]; and in the film holdings of Cohen Media Group (Raymond Rohauer collection) [35mm positive].

Current rights holder: Public domain.

Keywords: Color cinematography - Ice floes - Snow - USA: New York: Long Island: Orient Point - USA: Vermont: White River Junction - Water: Rivers, Waterfalls

Listing updated: 24 September 2013.

References: Film viewing : AFI-F1 n. F1.4817; Bardèche-History pp. 202, 258; Barry-Griffith pp. 29-30, 35, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 70, 74; Basten-Technicolor p. 169; Bohn-Light pp. xxi, 60-61, 81, 94, 175; Brownlow-Behind pp. 10, 11; Brownlow-Parade pp. 36, 79, 80, 89, 91, 388; Card-Seductive p. 44; Cooper-Dark pp. 30, 153, 238; Edmonds-BigU pp. 109, 149; Everson-American pp. 12, 42, 48, 91, 98, 116, 150, 152, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 166, 177, 178, 179, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 191, 208, 216, 246a, 246b; Fell-History pp. viii, 56, 74, 75; Geduld-Birth p. 38; Hayes-3D p. 8; Higashi-Virgins pp. 10-12, 14, 137, 142; Jensen-Lang p. 37; Katchmer-Eighty pp. 16, 17, 20; Kerr-Silent p. 59; Lahue-Collecting p. 50; Lahue-Gentlemen pp. 25, 28; Leish-Cinema pp. 53, 54; Limbacher-Feature p. 270; Maeder-Hollywood p. 86; Maltin-Guide p. 1393; Paris-Brooks p. 24; Shipman-Cinema p. 72; Sinyard-Silent pp. 23, 32, 33, 76; Sklar-Movie p. 50; Vermilye-Twenties pp. 41-44, 215; Weaver-Twenty p. 146 : Website-GEM.

Home video: Blu-ray Disc, DVD.

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