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Broken Blossoms (Silent)

A woman's love for a spiritual Chinese man is thwarted by her bigoted father in this silent masterpiece.
12K ratings
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 4741D
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Broken Blossoms for $10.90
Broken Blossoms for $10.90
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 15 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: April 26, 2005
  • Originally Released: 1919
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: , , , , , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Music by
Composition by
Cinematography by
Produced by

Entertainment Reviews:

Fresh95%

TOMATOMETER
Total Count: 22

Upright71%

AUDIENCE SCORE
User Ratings: 3,797
May be [Griffith's] simplest, most affecting work. Full Review
Combustible Celluloid
Sep 21, 2014
Very much on the credit side, though, are stretches of pure Griffith poetry, marvellous use of light and shadow in cameraman Billy Bitzer's evocation of foggy Limehouse, and a truly unforgettable performance from Gish.
Time Out
Jun 24, 2006
Although the picture consumes only 90 minutes, it somehow seems draggy, for the reason that everything other than the scenes with the three principals seems extraneous and tends to clog the progression of the tale. Full Review
Variety
Mar 5, 2009
Rating: 4/5 -- It's an important film that should be seen, but it's hardly the flawless masterpiece it's often hailed as. Full Review
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
May 2, 2007
Rating: 4/4 -- Films like this, naive as they seem today, helped nudge a xenophobic nation toward racial tolerance. Full Review
Chicago Sun-Times
Jan 1, 2000
Rating: 4.5/5 -- There is so much that is unusually excellent and excellently unusual in Broken Blossoms that one is compelled by enthusiasm to write about it. Full Review
New York Times
Mar 25, 2006
Rating: 4/5 -- Definitely a silent drama fighting against the traditional limitations of the form and the strict social mores of the day. One of Lillian Gish's most moving performances. Full Review
Empire Magazine
Aug 8, 2011

Description by OLDIES.com:

Lucy's miserable life is devoid of beauty, and she is constantly beaten by her father, an alcoholic boxer. In the same hopeless slum, a recent Chinese immigrant who runs an import shop helplessly watches the waif's struggle. When Lucy's father thrashes her within an inch of her life, the shopkeeper takes her in and nurses her back to health. As her condition improves, Lucy begins to show a new interest in life, thanks to all the beauty that her new friend has shown her. The young girl's father, outraged at her new relationship, is determined to separate the two forever, no matter what the consequences.

D.W. Griffith's most intimate and lyrical film, considered by some critics to be his masterpiece, Broken Blossoms was determined to be too grim by his studio and the director was forced to buy it back and release it himself. The film is also one of the absolute highlights of Lillian Gish's career. She is perfect as the wretched waif, so defeated she is unable to smile without using her fingers to turn up the corners of her mouth.

Product Description:

This strangely beautiful silent film from D.W. Griffith is also one of his more grim efforts; an indictment of child abuse and the violence of western society. An idealistic Asian (Richard Barthelemess) travels to the west in hopes of spreading the Buddha's message of peace to the round-eyed "sons of turmoil and strife." Instead he winds up a disillusioned, opium-smoking shopkeeper in London's squalid Limehouse District. Down the street, a poor waif (Lillian Gish) suffers horrific abuse at the hands of her boxer father (Donald Crisp). When fortune delivers the battered girl into the Asian's tender care, a strange and beautiful love blossoms between them, a love far too fragile to survive their brutal environment. Griffith directed with his unique blend of poetry and realism, and Miss Gish delivers a typically first-rate performance as the girl; the result is a work of art that's both eloquent and crushing. The film was originally presented with color tinting and a musical score composed by Griffith, both of which may vary in different video and film versions.

Plot Synopsis:

An early silent film (with a music track) which is quite effective in its almost barren simplicity. A poor Chinese man struggles to free the woman he loves. She is an abused girl living in the poor East End district of London and even when the Chinese man hides her by dressing her up in Asian costumes, his desire to help her proves useless in the face of her father's brutality.

Keywords:

Production Notes:

  • Theatrical release: May 13, 1919.
  • BROKEN BLOSSOMS was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1996.
  • Louis F. Gottschalk wrote the original score for the film.
This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
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MOTHER OF ALL TEAR JERKERS Movie Lover: from Fort Wayne, Indiana -- July, 13, 2005

before there was "Imitation of Life" there was Griffith's "Broken Blossoms." If I were to rate this by number of hankies you'll use, I would suggest that before you watch this movie, you invest in the kleenex Corp.


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 2,180
  • UPC: 089218474193
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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