The Long Road (1911)

  |  Short, Drama


The Long Road (1911) Poster

Edith enters a convent after losing her fiancé to someone else. Years later, Edith finds him again, now poverty-stricken, and secretly helps his family.


4.2/10
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12 May 2016 | deickemeyer
It keeps a pretty high average all through
This picture is a life portrayal more because its significance is true of human hearts, than because the outward incidents that are utilized are probable. Some of them are not probable, yet in the picture they are made convincing. In all of its scenes the artistic faculty of a true "maker." in the Carlylian sense, is plain. The picture from first to last is full of beauty. There is, indeed, so much in it, and its subordinate parts, often extremely beautiful in themselves, are so strongly kept auxiliary to the action, that one feels, after he has seen the drama, that it would be pleasant to view the scenes again, slowly and disconnectedly, as works of art, for the sake of the detail. For instance, there is a scene in a convent. Two or three sisters are in the foreground talking; one is holding a baby's layette. The situation depicted is poignant and demands one's whole attention. Not until this situation is completely unfolded does the spectator's eye notice that, in the background, there is a spiritual-faced sister at an embroidery frame, making of her work a ceremony. He notices it only as the scene is slipping away to give place to the next. Perfection on the formal plan is not of primary importance and those who attain to it are apt to get nothing else. Both "The Winter's Tale" and "Robinson Crusoe" are very faulty when judged by formal perfection. This picture is faulty, but it is valuable for its humanity. The first scene shows a little quarrel of two lovers. Pride in both widens the breach till the man marries another, and the girl enters a convent of the Sisters of Mercy and takes up good works as a vocation. The man suffers financial reverses, hasn't the character to bear up against them, goes the downward course till he is shot, by accident, in a saloon on the city's lower East Side. This is the weakest part of the story; it is in fact, conventional, or at least, seems so. The object of the scenario in picturing him thus was to furnish scenes that would bring the nun in her lowly ministrations directly in contact with the man and his family, particularly at the time of the man's death, for the sake of showing its effect upon her, of showing her heart. One feels that it was the easiest way to do it, and that perhaps a better, truer way might have been found, though one must admit that it was possible as pictured, and it was the surest way, perhaps. The great beauty of the picture lies in what the producer has been able to make his players show. He had very excellent material to work with. Especially fine is the scene in the church during the wedding ceremony. The center of interest is the girl and the way her character reacts in the situation. The young lady who takes this part very skillfully portrays a conflict of emotions bordering on hysteria. In previous scenes she has amply prepared us for just this. The effect is heightened by the girl's mother, who sits beside her, thoroughly understanding, apprehensive, on guard. It is mighty fine. If all the pictures had been as true as this it would have stood as a work of art unashamed beside our very best. As it is, it keeps a pretty high average all through. - The Moving Picture World, November 4, 1911

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Short | Drama

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