14 April 2011 | boblipton
Speaking Up in a Silent Picture
Walter Miller loves Mary Pickford, but he is very shy and doesn't dare to speak up, so she prefers Bobby Harron. All perfectly natural. But one morning when Walter is nursing a hangover, Elmer Booth and Harry Carey break into her apartment and threaten her, until Walter rushes in to her rescue.
What a cast! Yet, it's a standard work by Griffith, so why do I rate this a superior work? Because of Griffith constant and fluid editorial work. There doesn't seem to be more than five seconds to any shot, and there's a lot of cutting to indicate simultaneity of action. The whole plot is reduced to a brief prequel, setting up the situation and then boom! you're in the action. It's a bravura exposition of editing and worthwhile simply on those terms.