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Melodrama Mondays
D.W. Griffith

Live Musical Accompaniment
Screening on Film
  • The Lonely Villa

    Directed by D.W. Griffith.
    With David Miles, Marion Leonard, Mary Pickford.
    US, 1909, 16mm, black & white, silent, 8 min.

A mother and her hysterical daughters are under siege by nasty burglars. Will her husband get home in time to save them? This classic example of Griffith’s crosscutting technique stars a teenage Mary Pickford.

  • The Painted Lady

    Directed by D.W. Griffith.
    With Blanche Sweet, Madge Kirby, Charles Hill Mailes.
    US, 1912, 16mm, black & white, silent, 12 min.

Blanche Sweet stars as the shy, unpopular daughter of a wealthy man who draws the attention of a man only interested in her father’s fortunes. Sweet emerged as one of Griffith’s more endearing leading ladies in this short.

  • A Corner In Wheat

    Directed by D.W. Griffith.
    With Frank Powell, Grace Henderson, James Kirkwood.
    US, 1909, 16mm, black & white, silent, 14 min.

An early example of Griffith’s social problem films, A Corner in Wheat tells the story of a tycoon who corners the market on wheat, destroying the lives of many grain farmers. The wheat suffocating scene is another classic example of Griffith’s crosscutting.

  • Way Down East 

    Directed by D.W. Griffith.
    With Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman.
    US, 1920, 16mm, black & white, silent, 149 min.

One of the finest of Griffith’s later films and a phenomenal commercial success, Way Down East is a classic Victorian melodrama vividly adapted to the screen. The story takes place in New England and revolves around a naive young woman (Gish) who is seduced and abandoned by a city slicker (Sherman). Legendary as much for its expense as for its action, the film builds up to a famous climax with Gish drifting away on the ice floes.

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Gene Hackman crouched beside a toilet with audio equipment

From the HFA Collection...