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Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
is a 1921 silent drama film by D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
set in late-18th-century France, before and during the French Revolution. The last Griffith film to feature Lillian and Dorothy Gish, it is often considered Griffith's last major commercial success, after box-office hits such as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, and Broken Blossoms. Like his earlier films, Griffith used historical events to comment on contemporary events, in this case the French Revolution
French Revolution
to warn about the rise of Bolshevism. The film is about class conflict and a plea for inter-class understanding and against destructive hatred. At one point, in front of the Committee of Public Safety, a main character pleads, "Yes I am an aristocrat, but a friend of the people." The film is based on the 1874 French play Les Deux Orphelines by Adolphe d'Ennery
Adolphe d'Ennery
and Eugène Cormon, which had been adapted for the American stage by N. Hart Jackson and Albert Marshman Palmer[1] as The Two Orphans, premiering at Marshman Palmer's Union Square Theatre (58 E. 14th St.) in New York City in December 1874 with Kate Claxton
Kate Claxton
as Louise.[3] It had been filmed in the United States twice before Griffith did his film: in 1911 by Otis Turner[4] and in 1915 by Herbert Brenon (the lost Theda Bara
Theda Bara
film The Two Orphans). The play had also been filmed twice in France
France
in 1910: by Albert Capellani[5] and by Georges Monca.[6]

Contents

1 Plot 2 Visual effects 3 Background 4 Main cast 5 References 6 External links

Plot[edit]

Play media

Orphans of the Storm

Just before the French Revolution, Henriette takes her close adopted sister Louise to Paris in the hope of finding a cure for her blindness. She promises Louise that she will not marry until Louise can look upon her husband to approve him. Lustful aristocrat de Praille (whose carriage kills a child, enraging peasant father, Forget-not) meets the two outside Paris. Taken by the virginal Henriette's beauty, he has her abducted and brought to his estate where a lavish party is being held, leaving Louise helpless in the big city. An honorable aristocrat, the Chevalier de Vaudrey helps Henriette to escape de Praille and his guests by successfully fighting a duel with him. The scoundrel Mother Frochard, seeing an opportunity to make money, tricks Louise into her underground house to be kept prisoner. Unable to find Louise with the help of the Chevalier, Henriette rents a room, but before leaving her de Vaudrey comforts and kisses the distressed woman. Later, Henriette gives shelter to admirable politician Danton, who after an attack by Royalist spies following a public speech falls for her. As a result, she runs foul of the radical revolutionary Robespierre, a friend of Danton. Mother Frochard forces Louise into begging. Meanwhile, de Vaudrey proposes to Henriette and she refuses. After expressing love for each other, he promises Henriette that Louise will be found. King Louis XVI orders Henriette to be arrested, due to his disapproval of de Vaudrey's choice of wife, and the Chevalier is also sent away while his aunt visits Henriette. During the meeting, Louise is heard singing outside, where Frochard has told her to walk blindly and sing. Henriette calls out from her upstairs balcony, but the panicked Louise is dragged off by Frochard and Henriette is arrested and sent to a women's prison. Louise and Frochard's begging continues with the other two Frochards, and before long the Revolution begins. A battle between the Royalist soldiers and the people allied with the police, who are successful, results in aristocrats being killed and the prisoners of the "Tyrants" (including Henriette) being freed. A people's 'rag-tag' government is formed, and Forget-not takes his revenge against de Praille. Robespierre and Forget-not send Henriette and her lover, the Chevalier de Vaudrey, to the guillotine, for hiding de Vaudrey, an aristocrat, who returned to Paris to find her. However, Danton manages to obtain a pardon for them. After a race through the streets of Paris he just manages to save Henriette and offers her to the Chevalier, when the two orphans unite. A doctor restores Louise's sight, she approves marriage between Henriette and the Chevalier, and a better-organized Republic forms in France. Visual effects[edit]

Production booklet cover

The movie uses several visual effects throughout to capture the emotion of its story, using monochromic filters of red, blue, green, yellow and sepia to show feeling with the silent action which is accompanied by music; the movie also uses fade-ins to achieve this effect, expressing the distinct class divide and captivating the attention of viewers for a two-and-a-half-hour film. Background[edit] The Two Orphans, the English-language version of the French play upon which the movie is based, had been filmed at least twice by 1920, and had been a staple of the actress Kate Claxton. After the premiere at the original Union Square Theatre in 1874, she had performed it hundreds of times for various theatrical companies in New York, including the Brooklyn Theater (she was performing it there on the night of the infamous Brooklyn Theater Fire
Brooklyn Theater Fire
in 1876), and she had eventually acquired the US rights to the play. In securing the film rights, Griffith had to wrangle with Miss Claxton, who for unknown reasons seems to have been reluctant to allow the story to be filmed a third time. When Griffith completed his film for release, a rival German version of the story had been made (Claxton owned foreign film rights as well) and was being prepared for release in the US at the same time as Griffith's version. Griffith bought out the US distribution rights to the German version so that it could not conflict with the earning potential of his own film.[citation needed] The New York Times wrote: "As the vivid scenes of the historically colored melodrama flashed one after another on the screen everyone surely felt that Griffith was himself again" but added "The seasoned spectator, no matter how he may let himself go, knows that every delay is a device to heighten the suspense and every advantage given the rescuers is calculated to evoke his cheers (...) whatever he does, he is not surprised when the girl is saved".[7] Main cast[edit]

Dorothy and Lilian Gish in promotional photograph for the film.

Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
as Henriette Girard Dorothy Gish
Dorothy Gish
as Louise Joseph Schildkraut
Joseph Schildkraut
as Chevalier de Vaudrey Frank Losee
Frank Losee
as Count de Linières Catherine Emmet as Countess de Linières Morgan Wallace
Morgan Wallace
as Marquis de Praille Lucille La Verne
Lucille La Verne
as Mother Frochard Frank Puglia
Frank Puglia
as Pierre Frochard Sheldon Lewis
Sheldon Lewis
as Jacques Frochard Creighton Hale
Creighton Hale
as Picard Leslie King as Jacques-Forget-Not Monte Blue
Monte Blue
as Danton Sidney Herbert as Robespierre Lee Kohlmar
Lee Kohlmar
as Louis XVI Louis Wolheim
Louis Wolheim
as Executioner

References[edit]

^ a b AFI Catalog of Feature Films: Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
Linked 2013-07-07 ^ Variety list of box office champions for 1922 ^ IBDB: The Two Orphans Linked 2013-07-07 ^ IMDb: The Two Orphans (1911) Linked 2013-07-07 ^ IMDb: Les deux orphelines (1910/I) Linked 2013-07-07 ^ IMDb: Les deux orphelines (1910/I) Linked 2013-07-07 ^ "New-York Times, 4 January 1922". Retrieved 4 March 2015. 

Stanley Appelbaum, Great Actors and Actresses of the American Stage in Historic Photographs: 332 Portraits From 1850-1950 (1983)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Orphans of the Storm.

Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
at the American Film Institute Catalog Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
on IMDb Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
is available for free download at the Internet Archive Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
at AllMovie Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
at Virtual History

v t e

Films directed by D. W. Griffith

Only films from 1913 onwards included below. See complete D. W. Griffith filmography

Three Friends (1913) The Telephone Girl and the Lady (1913) An Adventure in the Autumn Woods (1913) A Misappropriated Turkey (1913) Brothers (1913) Oil and Water (1913) A Chance Deception (1913) Love in an Apartment Hotel
Love in an Apartment Hotel
(1913) Broken Ways (1913) A Girl's Stratagem (1913) The Unwelcome Guest
The Unwelcome Guest
(1913) Near to Earth (1913) Fate (1913) The Sheriff's Baby
The Sheriff's Baby
(1913) The Hero of Little Italy (1913) A Misunderstood Boy (1913) The Left-Handed Man (1913) The Lady and the Mouse (1913) If We Only Knew (1913) The Wanderer (1913) The Stolen Loaf (1913) The House of Darkness (1913) Just Gold (1913) The Ranchero's Revenge (1913) A Timely Interception
A Timely Interception
(1913) Death's Marathon (1913) The Mothering Heart
The Mothering Heart
(1913) The Sorrowful Shore (1913) The Enemy's Baby (1913) The Mistake (1913) Two Men of the Desert (1913) Madonna of the Storm (1913) The Battle at Elderbush Gulch
The Battle at Elderbush Gulch
(1913) The Conscience of Hassan Bey
The Conscience of Hassan Bey
(1913) The Massacre (1914) Judith of Bethulia
Judith of Bethulia
(1914) Battle of the Sexes (1914, lost) Brute Force (1914) Home, Sweet Home (1914) The Escape (1914, lost) The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (1914) The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation
(1915) Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) Hearts of the World
Hearts of the World
(1918) The Great Love (1918, lost) Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
in a Liberty Loan Appeal (1918, lost) The Greatest Thing in Life
The Greatest Thing in Life
(1919, lost) A Romance of Happy Valley
A Romance of Happy Valley
(1919) The Girl Who Stayed at Home
The Girl Who Stayed at Home
(1919) Broken Blossoms
Broken Blossoms
(1919) True Heart Susie
True Heart Susie
(1919) Scarlet Days
Scarlet Days
(1919) The Greatest Question
The Greatest Question
(1919) The Idol Dancer
The Idol Dancer
(1920) Remodeling Her Husband
Remodeling Her Husband
(1920) The Love Flower
The Love Flower
(1920) Way Down East
Way Down East
(1920) Dream Street (1921) Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm
(1921) One Exciting Night
One Exciting Night
(1922) The White Rose (1923) America (1924) Isn't Life Wonderful
Isn't Life Wonderful
(1924) Sally of the Sawdust
Sally of the Sawdust
(1925) That Royle Girl (1925) The Sorrows of Satan (1926) Drums of Love
Drums of Love
(1928) The Battle of the Sexes (1928) Lady of the Pavements
Lady of the Pavements
(1929) Abraham Lincoln (1930) The Str

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