Movie American Masters Lillian Gish: The Actor's Life for Me () download free
Book Title: American Masters Lillian Gish: The Actor's Life for Me|
Directors: Terry Sanders
Genre: Documentary, Biography
Release Date: 1988-07-11
Runtime: 55 min
Stars: Richard Barthelmess,Donald Crisp,Dorothy Gish
IMDb Rating: 8.0
Full movie description "American Masters Lillian Gish: The Actor's Life for Me":A documentary about the life and films of actress Lillian Gish.
Reviews of the American Masters Lillian Gish: The Actor's Life for MeLILLIAN GISH: AN ACTOR'S LIFE FOR ME is a fascinating hour-long profile on the legendary actress from 1988 when she was in her early nineties. The program consists mainly of occasional film clips as Miss Gish sits in her New York apartment and discusses her life and career, in particular her long association with silent film director D. W. Griffith. There are no other interviewees but then they aren't necessary and who really wants to waste time with Gish associates singing her praises in hackneyed if loving terms when the lady herself is available to speak for herself and discuss her dedication to her craft ("I never was interested in money, homes. I just wanted the work and I wanted it to be good because I felt it was permanent.") Lillian recalls her life as a child actress on the stage at the turn of the century when she made her stage debut at age five in 1902. Both she and younger sister Dorothy had to become actresses out of necessity; their father was apparently a shiftless sort who could not hold a job, Lillian's mother told him "I can support three but not four" and sent him away as her family of young women fended for themselves. Lillian however has nothing but happy memories of her days as a child actress, having met nothing but kindness from the actors and theater people who looked after her and Dorothy while they and Mother Gish were all in different touring companies. A chance afternoon at the "flickers" the Gish girls spotted a longtime child actress friend, Gladys Smith in one of the movies and decided to call on her at the film studio. They discovered their friend was now christened Mary Pickford and her director, D. W. Griffith, was quite eager to add the young girls to his stable of film players upon being introduced.
Lillian discusses the landmark Griffith productions BIRTH OF A NATION and INTOLERENCE, which stunned audiences with their scope (and worried exhibitors with their lengths). Footage from a number of the Gish/Griffith collaborations is included in the documentary including the famous scenes on ice from WAY DOWN EAST. In the early 1920's, Griffith sent Lillian on her way to make films independently of him ("You know as much about films as I do") leading her to MGM to make LA BOEHME, THE SCARLETT LETTER, and THE WIND. Eventual disagreements with Louis Mayer led her back to the stage and in late middle-age she returned to the screen in occasional roles including the 1955 classic NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (one of two talkies seen in clips here, the other being Gish's final film, 1987's THE WHALES OF AUGUST).
It's wonderful to hear Lillian's memories of her life and career, occasionally with surprising remarks from the actress ("I got so sick of playing virgins...ga ga babies...it's hard to make them interesting after the first five minutes"). She notes she never fell in love with an actor ("I wanted to learn...he (wouldn't) know any more than I did") and mentions a number of celebrated writers who were her friends (notably not mentioning her longtime romance, George Jean Nathan). She recalls meeting newcomer Greta Garbo on the MGM lot in 1925, adding "we've been friends ever since", a present tense comment that sadly brings into focus that this documentary is from an era as gone now as the early days of film it discusses. Lillian is quite eloquent on the importance of film preservation, "We are the first century to leave a living record of our history", noting virtually all the important events of the 20th century from Victoria's funeral on have been filmed for newsreels. We can also be grateful that footage also exists of this wonderful actress discussing her landmark career; Lillian seemed down right imperishable into her tenth decade as this documentary was being filmed, as sharp and intelligent as ever, but proved to be mortal after all and within a year or so of this documentary retreated from public appearances a few years before her death in her sleep in 1993.
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