1 October 2010 | drednm
Lillian Gish Is Stunning
THE ENEMY would probably be regarded as a major silent film if the final reel could be found.
Lillian Gish stars as a young German bride who endures the hardships of World War I. The film also examines the friendship of her husband (Ralph Forbes) and his English friend (Ralph Emerson) after the outbreak of war.
But this is a Gish film, and she is stunning. At age 34 she easily passes as a twenty- something bride. As always, Gish is the consummate actress, going here from blushing bride to desperate mother to sorrowful prostitute.
After the success of THE BIG PARADE, MGM was anxious for another anti-war hit. This film was based on the 1925 hit Broadway play that starred Fay Bainter.
Supporting cast is quite good here with Frank Currier solid as the professor, Karl Dane as Jan, and Polly Moran as the brusque housekeeper. Joel McCrea appears as an extra.
For those who persist in thinking that Gish only played frail virgins, this film is a real eye opener.