28 March 2005 | overseer-3
A funny Lillian Gish
This 1916 silent by Fine Arts is enjoyable as a vehicle for perky Lillian Gish and her sense of comic skill, a talent that was rarely given the opportunity to shine through in her other, more melodramatic silent features from the same era. As a Russian peasant girl, Lillian constantly hams it up and deadpans for the camera, fighting her unloving, unscrupulous family's efforts to marry her off to unsuitable mates. My favorite moment: when she points in disgust at the richest, but ugliest, suitor in the village and 'says' via title card: "What? You want me to marry this beast?" Hysterical.
Love arrives in the nick of time by the way of an American suitor, and the family ends up emigrating to the States. However the aunt and uncle still plan on selling Lillian to the highest bidder, and she has to fight to find her true love again.
I enjoyed the film quite a bit, even though it was archaic, so much so that I improved it digitally and tinted it and added a new score for my own DVD version. It's improved 100% over the previous version floating around out there.