19 August 2007 | wes-connors
D.W. Griffith Catches a Wave
Early film masterfully directed by D.W. Griffith. Arthur V. Johnson and Linda Arvidson play a happy couple, who obviously love each other very much. He must go out to sea. Tragically, he is shipwrecked. Far away, Mr. Johnson washes to shore, but suffers from amnesia. He has no idea he has a wife, whom he loved so dearly; and who, in his absence, bears his daughter.
Years roll by
Ms. Arvidson is a heartbroken woman, never knowing what happened to her husband. Their daughter (Mary Pickford, looking very grown-up) takes a husband of her own (Charles West), but mother remains alone. Then, Johnson's memory returns.
Griffith uses shots/time incredibly well - showing familiar scenes, like a static row of houses where Arvidson lives, changing over the years. "The Unchanging Sea" remains the same, but there are things happening in/on the sea which move the story. It's a lovely story, but the end is too sudden. I would have rather Griffith had the man return and never regain his memory, but fall in love with his wife all over again. The acting, direction and photography are exceptional.
******* The Unchanging Sea (5/5/10) D.W. Griffith ~ Arthur V. Johnson, Linda Arvidson, Mary Pickford