Review: ‘Hearts of the World’

In Hearts of the World D.W. Griffith makes his principal love story a fleshless skeleton upon which to hang a large number of brilliant war scenes, in an effort to show the horrors at close range - its effect upon the combatants and non-combatants alike.

In Hearts of the World D.W. Griffith makes his principal love story a fleshless skeleton upon which to hang a large number of brilliant war scenes, in an effort to show the horrors at close range – its effect upon the combatants and non-combatants alike.

Selected for his principals the son and daughter, respectively, of two American painters who made their homes in France. They fall in love and are betrothed. When war is declared the youth makes the heroic declaration that a country that is good enough to live in is worth fighting for, and joins the French army.

The picture opens with scenes showing the little French village in time of peace and then goes into a depiction of the struggle with the Germans for its possession.

Another role admirably planted, but which fails to develop to the full strength of its promise, is The Little Disturber. Dorothy Gish is the Disturber and her sister Lillian is the heroine. Both are excellent and wholly equal to the demands of their respective parts.

Robert Harron, as the young American is the outstanding artist of the picture.

Hearts of the World

US - UK

Production

Griffith/Artcraft. Dir D.W. Griffith; Producer D.W. Griffith; Screenplay Gaston de Tolignac [= D.W. Griffith], Translated into English by Capt Victor Marier, [= D.W. Griffith]; Camera Billy Bitzer; Editor James E. Smith, Rose Smith; Music Carl Henfrit Santor Elinor

Crew

Silent. (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1918. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Lillian Gish Robert Harron Dorothy Gish George Fawcett Erich von Stroheim Noel Coward
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