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The Forgotten: John Brahm's "Broken Blossoms" (1936)

This is a tale of chance encounters.1) René Clair is in London, making The Ghost Goes West (1935). Something of a flaneur, he has strolled down to the East End, and his noctivagation leads him to a Limehouse pub which strikes him with an intense but mysterious feeling of déjà vu."Of course!" he suddenly thinks. "D.W. Griffith: Broken Blossoms!" The pub is the very image of Griffith's Hollywood recreation of Victorian London from his 1919 film.And there, at the bar, sits D.W. Griffith himself. Clair approaches this mirage and learns that Griffith is in London to direct a remake of Broken Blossoms at Twickenham Studios. Drink is taken.2) All this comes from screenwriter Rodney Ackland's bittersweet memoir of his work in British cinema, The Celluloid Mistress, co-written with Elspeth Grant. He further explains that his idolisation of Griffith prompted him to volunteer his services in any capacity as

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