The home invasion robbery was one of the most popular suspense tropes of the nickelodeon era. It was cheap to stage and could really have audiences on pins and needles.
Think that hand kissing is just for knights and posh types? Think again! A well-timed bit of old-fashioned romance can be just the thing for silent movie ladies.
The Gish girls made their debut in the 1912 short, An Unseen Enemy, in which they are menaced by a “slattern maid” and Harry Carey. Fortunately, their brother steals Antonio Moreno’s car and races to the rescue. Yes, it is just chock-full of soon-to-be-famous people.
It’s interesting that Dorothy Gish’s persona as “the sassy one” is already in place at the tender age of fourteen. She is in love with Bobby Harron but Lillian will not put up with any hanky-panky on her watch. Dorothy’s expression as she is pulled away matches mine exactly when I am told there is no time for an ice cream run. “But, but… WANT!”
(You can read my review of the short here.)
A rare treat from Dorothy Gish’s solo career, life in the tenements is all fun and games until someone starts a counterfeiting ring. Dorothy plays a cute little number from the Netherlands, who falls for a nice Italian boy. That’s all well and good but Eugene “Friar Tuck” Pallette is lurking about, the foul counterfeiter! Light as a feather but highly enjoyable.
See how cute?
[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]The nasty counterfeiters kidnap Gretchen but the police save the day and it all ends with a wedding.[/toggler]
If it were a desert it would be:
A Snickerdoodle. America and the Netherlands can do great things when they join forces.
You can read my full-length review here.
I don’t think anyone will argue with the suggestion that Dorothy Gish pretty much walked away with Hearts of the World. Her Little Disturber was a sassy little number who wore a signature Tam o’ Shanter. The tam was a popular headgear choice for fashionable young ladies and had a jaunty flavor that went very well with Dorothy’s character.
Surely you want one of your own. Well, you can have one if you have some yarn and a crochet hook. This pattern is from the Sunlight Book of Knitting and Crochet, a 1915 publication. I am not positive about yarn weights but I believe that dk or sport weight should work. If crochet hook numbers are the same, the no. 5 should be an F hook. No guarantees, I have not tried this pattern myself.
(The model is not Dorothy Gish but I think there’s a resemblance.)
Remember that young ladies in this era often had a lot of hair done up in curls. Therefore, hats tended to be on a grander scale during this period. Women with less… luxuriant hair, either shorter or straighter, will want to keep this in mind when making the tam. Of course, if you are blessed with thick or naturally curly hair, the tam should look smashing as-is.
Two sisters, an empty house, a dishonest maid and a fortune in the safe. A recipe for a melodrama if I ever saw one! D.W. Griffith directs the Gish sisters in their motion picture debut, with able support from Bobby Harron, Elmer Booth, Harry Carey and a very early appearance from Antonio Moreno!
Continue reading “An Unseen Enemy (1912) A Silent Film Review”
An extremely rare film with Dorothy Gish in the starring role. She is Gretchen, a newly transplanted Dutch maiden who finds romance, adventure and danger in her new home, New York. When she stumbles onto a counterfeiting ring, Gretchen must find a way to save herself and her father from the ruthless criminals.
The younger Gish sister enjoyed popularity in comedies and light dramas throughout the ‘teens and twenties. Unfortunately, many of her solo films have been lost. Lillian Gish always spoke highly of her sister’s talent and Gretchen proves that this was not just familial pride. Dorothy is a delight!
I can’t believe it’s almost here! The Gish Sisters Blogathon is launching this Saturday.
Some of the contributors expressed a day preference while others were free to be penciled in any time. My co-hostess, Lindsey of The Motion Pictures, did a marvelous job of scheduling everyone between the three days of the blogathon.
If you need to reschedule:
No problem! Just let one of us know and we will be happy to accommodate you.
If you want to join:
You can still do that too! Let us know your topic and the day you prefer.
Day 1: September 7
Critica Retro – Orphans of the Storm
Donald Mania – Video tribute
Falderal – The White Sister
Films Worth Watching – The Battle of Elderbush Gulch
The Great Katherine Hepburn – Remodeling Her Husband
The Motion Pictures – List of participants (to be updated throughout the blogathon w/ links)
Movies, Silently – Gretchen the Greenhorn
Once Upon a Screen – The Musketeers of Pig Alley
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion – Have You Been Gished?
portraitsbyjenni – The Scarlet Letter + BGSU’s Gish Theater
The “Semi” Daily Main — Broken Blossoms
Silent Volume – La Boheme
Silent Volume – Mothering Heart
They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To – The Whales of August
Day 2: September 8
Cinemalacrum – The Night of the Hunter
Cinematic Catharsis – Broken Blossoms
Donald Mania – Article on Lillian’s influence on cinema
Films Worth Watching – True Heart Susie
MIB’s Instant Headache – Birth of a Nation Blu-ray
The Motion Pictures – Sweet Liberty
Outspoken and Freckled – The Night of the Hunter
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion – Don’t you wish you were a Gish?
Girls Do Film – Romola
Silent Volume – Birth of a Nation
Silent Volume – Intolerance
Silver Screenings – Portrait of Jennie
The Soul of the Plot – Duel in the Sun
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear – The Wind
Day 3: September 9
Don’t Upset Granny Gish – His Double Life
The Joy and Agony of Movies – Intolerance
The Last Drive In – Alfred Hitchcock Hour, “The Body in the Barn”
The Man on the Flying Trapeze — The Day I Insulted Lillian Gish
Motion Picture Gems – Centennial Summer
The Motion Pictures – The Cardinal
Movie Classics – The Scarlet Letter
The Movie Rat – Orphans of the Storm, Lillian and Dorothy Together
Movies, Silently – An Unseen Enemy
The Nitrate Diva – Hearts of the World
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion – Gish Sisters Have Imperfect Noses
Silent Volume – Rebirth of a Nation
Strictly Vintage Hollywood – Nell Gwynn
True Classics – La Boheme
It’s hard to believe that the Gish Sisters Blogathon is less than a month away! I just wanted to update everyone on what has been happening.
What is it
A three day celebration of the careers of Lillian and Dorothy Gish.
When is it?
September 7, 8 and 9
Where is it?
Right here or at my co-hostess Lindsey’s blog, The Motion Pictures.
How can I join?
Just contact either one of us and say what you would like to contribute. We
Here is the roster, if you want to take a peek at what other folks are contributing.
If you can’t join…
You can still help us by spreading the word. Every little bit helps and is enormously appreciated.
If you want to join but aren’t sure what to contribute…
Here is a list of film suggestions!
Dorothy needs a little help!
While her films are not quite as available as Lillian’s, there are still lots to choose from so please consider contributing something about Dorothy.
Greetings! Well, it looks like I am at it again! Another blogathon!
September 9, 2013 is going to mark the 101st anniversary of Lillian and Dorothy Gish’s motion picture debut. I was really excited and wanted to do something special. However, the Gish sisters spent even more time making talkies than they did silents. I needed someone to help me, someone who was an expert on mid-century film…
My wonderful co-hostess is Lindsey of The Motion Pictures! Together, on September 7-9, we are going to celebrate the careers of these amazing women.
We are inviting bloggers to join us in this celebration. The event is open to all!
While they are best remembered for their silent work, Dorothy enjoyed a 51 year career, acting until 1963. Lillian’s 75 year career lasted until 1987! And the versatile sisters made films in every imaginable genre. There is truly something for everyone.
What you can contribute:
- A review of a film that has one or both of the Gishes
- Information on their stage work
- A biography
- An article on their films, careers, relationships, etc.
- A pictorial post
- Get creative! I have seen blogathons feature video slideshows, poetry, works of art and more. If it is Gish-related, please consider submitting it.
- No film is “taken” so feel free to select a film even if others are already reviewing it.
(note: this list has been updated and the latest version can be found here)
Cinemalacrum – A review of The Night of the Hunter (Lillian)
Cinematic Catharsis – A review of Broken Blossoms (Lillian)
Crítica Retrô – A review of Orphans of the Storm (Lillian and Dorothy)
Donald Mania – A video tribute to the sisters and an article on Lillian’s influence on cinema
Don’t Upset Granny Gish – A review of His Double Life (Lillian) and an article on becoming a Gish fan
Falderal – Lillian Gish’s relationship with fellow screen star Mary Pickford
The Film Writer – An article profiling each sister and a video
Films Worth Watching – Reviews of True Heart Susie and The Battle of Elderbush Gulch
Girls Do Film – A review of Romola (Lillian and Dorothy)
The Great Katharine Hepburn – An article on Remodeling Her Husband (Lillian and Dorothy)
The Joy and Agony of Movies – A review of Intolerance (Lillian)
The Last Drive In – The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Body in the Barn (Lillian)
MIB’s Instant Headache – A review of The Birth of a Nation Blu-ray (Lillian)
Motion Picture Gems – TBD
The Motion Pictures – Sweet Liberty (Lillian) and The Cardinal (Dorothy) as well as keeping a list of the participants.
Movie Classics – A review of The Scarlet Letter (Lillian)
The Movie Rat – An article on the Lillian and Dorothy’s film careers.
Movies Silently – The Unseen Enemy and Orphans of the Storm (the first and last films that the sisters made with director D.W. Griffith), Gretchen the Greenhorn (Dorothy)
The Nitrate Diva – Way Down East (Lillian) and/or Hearts of the World (Lillian and Dorothy)
Nitrate Glow – A review of Broken Blossoms (Lillian) and poetry selections inspired by the film.
Once Upon a Screen – A review of The Musketeers of Pig Alley (Lillian and Dorothy), one of the earliest gangster films, and a pictorial post
Outspoken and Freckled – A review of The Night of the Hunter (Lillian)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion – A collection of contemporary newspaper clippings on the sisters
Silent Volume – Reviews of La Boheme, Mothering Heart, Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, and DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation recut
Silver Screenings – Portrait of Jennie (Lillian)
The Soul of the Plot – Duel in the Sun (Lillian)
Strictly Vintage Hollywood – Nell Gwynn (Dorothy)
They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To – A review of The Whales of August (Lillian), plus, we get Bette Davis in the bargain! Hurrah!
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear – A review of The Wind (Lillian)
True Classics – Review of La Boheme (Lillian)
Remember, no movie is “taken” so don’t be afraid to pick a title even if it is already listed!
How do I join up?
Contact us and let us know your blog address, what you would like to contribute and the date on which you would like to participate. Here are some ways to get in touch:
- Leave a comment
Tweet me @MoviesSilently or Lindsey @TMPLindsey or both!
Then snag one of the banners we have supplied for the occasion.
Please link back to http://moviessilently.com/tag/gish-sisters-blogathon/