Another Great Picture, “The Great Love”

Man Who Created “The Birth of a Nation” and “Intolerance” has Produced Another Great Picture, “The Great Love”

INTERNATIONALLY famous as the world’s greatest exponent of the cinema art, David Wark Griffith is the creator of the screen’s most remarkable triumphs. That his genius has accomplished more to elevate the motion picture to its present high standard than any other agency, is apparent to everyone. His sensational departures in photoplay productions are film history and the mention of his name in connection with a screen offering always excites anticipation for something new in the way of advanced cinema technique. Mr. Griffith spent many months in England and France during the past year and on his return to this country, he produced “Hearts of the World which was presented with enormous success in New York. His latest offering, which deals with the great social transformation effected in England by the war, is “The Great Love”, and this will be presented at the theatre next.

Great Love Poster 2 a

The photoplay is said to be a remarkable one and that it will attract great interest here is undoubted. While the entire story has not been revealed by Mr. Griffith, enough of it is known to enable readers to get a fairly accurate idea of the theme. It deals with a young American who enlists in the Canadian army when he reads of the German atrocities in Belgium and goes to England. While training near London, he meets and loves a charming Australian girl who reciprocates his passion. When this girl falls heir to a vast fortune, an unscrupulous English baronet seeks to force her into a marriage with him, and this affair is interrupted by international complications and the operations of German spies. The girl later finds “the great love” in unremitting service for country and the cause of world’s democracy. Many famous English society women assist in the development of the story as workers in hospitals and munitions factories, and in this respect the photoplay is said to be one of the most remarkable ever produced.

The Movies Mr. Griffith and Me (03 1969) - One of Lillian's favorite pictures of D.W. Griffith — with D. W. Griffith.

Born at La Grange, near Louisville, Ky., Mr. Griffith is the son of the late Brigadier General Jacob Wark Griffith, C. S. A. As an actor he first became connected with the stage, which vocation he followed for some two years. After gaining wide experience on the speaking stage Mr. Griffith, appeared in Biograph pictures. His unusual creative ability soon attracted the attention of the studio executives and it was not long before he was made a director. In this capacity, Mr. Griffith introduced innovations which changed the whole course of the motion picture art, such as the use of “close-ups,” “cut backs,” etc. Many of the players whom he trained for the screen in those days are now among the most prominent artists in the film world. Chief among these is Mary Pickford. Some of Mr. Griffith’s early triumphs are “Judith of Bethulia,” “The Escape,” “The Avenging Conscience” and “The Battle.” When “The Birth of a Nation” was released it created the greatest sensation and carried the name of D. W. Griffith, its producer, into the homes of the people of many nations. Its success was in keeping with its great merit. Following this triumph came “Intolerance,” another spectacle exceeding in magnitude anything ever staged. Mr. Griffith recently entered into an engagement with the Famous Players—Lasky Corporation to release his new productions through that organization. Under this arrangement the famous director will stage his own productions and distribute them through that corporation, which supplies the biggest attractions to the best theatres in the country.

Paramount Press Books (Jun-Aug 1918)

Press Review

DAVID W. GRIFFITH’S NEW PICTURE “THE GREAT LOVE” A REMARKABLE PRODUCTION

Many Members of High Society of Britain are Pictured and Theme of Photoplay Deals with War and Sacrifice PRESENTING what may be termed, perhaps, his most ambitious screen offering, David Wark Griffith displayed his splendid photoplay, “The Great Love,” which deals specifically with the great awakening of the wealthy and exclusive classes of England to the tremendous needs of the war, with great success at the theatre yesterday. For the first time in the history of motion pictures, Mr. Griffith portrays, in this photoplay, the activities of the leisure classes of Great Britain, during the world war; their splendid and unselfish labor in caring for convalescent soldiers and their innumerable sacrifices. It shows not merely actors made up to represent these people, but the people themselves, the very flower of England s finest womanhood engaged in the noble task of succoring the brave sons of Britain, France and the allies of all the loyal nations, in their time of great suffering and sacrifice. In his tremendously difficult task, Mr. Griffith had the assistance and encouragement of such distinguished people as Sir Frederick Treeves, head of the British Red Cross; Baroness Rothschild, owner of the railroad from Flavre to Paris; Sir Henry Stanley, whose brother is the Earl of Derby and head of the War Council; and Queen Alexandra, who personally supervised the scenes taken in Lady Diana Manner’s convalescent hospital at her country estate. The Queen appears in several scenes and it is the first time such notables have actually taken part in motion pictures for the general public. The story of the play deals largely with the fortunes of a young American, who, enraged by the German atrocities in Belgium, enlists in a Canadian regiment and is sent to the front from England. While training near London, he meets and loves a charming girl, who later falls heir to a vast fortune and then becomes the object of the strenuous attentions of a disreputable British baronet.

Lillian Gish - The Great Love (1918)
Lillian Gish – The Great Love (1918)

This love affair is interrupted by international complications and the machinations of German spies, the whole combining to form a most interesting series of situations, which, coupled with the magnificent photography, makes this picture subject one of the most attractive ever produced by Mr. Griffith. The chief roles are in the hands of capable screen players, many of whom appear for the first time under the Artcraft trademark. These include Henry Walthall, Lillian Gish, Robert Harron and others, all of whose portrayals are essentially artistic and lend much to the verisimilitude of the scenes. That “The Great Love,” as a superb picture spectacle, is destined to rank among his best productions, in no sense inferior to his great picture, “Hearts of the World,” now being successfully presented in New York, seems a certainty.

Great Love Poster 1 a

GRIFFITH TALKS OF “THE GREAT LOVE”

He Says Title of Picture Means Many Things

Referring to the title of his picture, ‘The Great Love,” David Wark Griffith, the famous picture producer said in a recent interview that it meant many things. “It may mean the love of country, then again it may mean the love of individuals,” he said. “At any rate I hope to show in this picture the remarkable transition of the butterfly life of British society, with that of the stern, sincere hard-workers in the great cause of winning the war.” Mr. Griffith said when Queen Alexandra heard of his project, that of commemorating many of the historic war scenes in England in motion pictures, she was gracious enough to come to Lady Diana Manners’ hospital and devote nearly an entire day in arranging the hospital scenes shown in the picture and appearing in them herself. This remarkable photoplay has a deeply interesting love story with numerous war situations and tense dramatic moments. The story has been admirably handled and the players are of stellar celebrity. It will be shown at the theatre on next.

The Great Love, Lillian Gish and Henry Walthall
The Great Love, Lillian Gish and Henry Walthall

BRITISH WOMEN ARE PATRIOTIC

Half at No Sacrifice as Shown in “The Great Love” THE noble sacrifices made by the most distinguished women in the higher circles in England, are adequately shown in David Wark Griffith’s remarkable photoplay, “The Great Love,” which will be shown at the theatre next Since the beginning of the great war, England has sent the flower of its nobility to the front and untold thousands have laid down their lives upon the ensanguined battlefields of France and Belgium. At home the women and men have united in the great work of caring for the wounded and in prosecuting the relief activities so essential to the successful conduct of the war.

DW Griffith shooting a scene from The Great Love 1918
DW Griffith shooting a scene from The Great Love 1918

This is the awakening that is portrayed with startling fidelity in “The Great Love.” Among those who for the first time appear in the photoplay are such well-known distinguished personages as Queen Alexandra, Lady Diana Manners, Countess Masserene, Elizabeth Asquith, Lady Lavery and others. In the cast of players are Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Henry B. Walthall, George Fawcett, George Seigmann, Gloria Hope and others.

The Great Love (Artcraft, 1918) Lillian Gish Robert Harron - Artcraft Poster
The Great Love (Artcraft, 1918) Lillian Gish Robert Harron – Artcraft Poster

MAIL CAMPAIGN

For the Exploitation of “The Great Love ’

DEAR MADAM:

The announcement that David W. Griffith’s first picture production for Artcraft, “The Great Love,” a remarkable photoplay in which Queen Alexandra and many women of the British nobility are pictured, is to be presented at our playhouse next …….. has caused a profound sensation among our clientele. This is the first time that the great productions of Mr. Griffith, the man who created “The Birth of a Nation,” “Intolerance,” “Hearts of the World” and other screen triumphs, are available to the general public at regular prices, and for the first time also, Mr. Griffith’s famous stars, including Lillian Gish, Henry B. Walthall, Robert Harron, George, Fawcett and others, are seen in Artcraft pictures.

“The Great Love” is in every respect a splendid photoplay of love, war and national devotion to the service of country and world democracy. It is a production fully up to the high standard of artistry for which the name of Griffith stands and for which he has become famous in the field of the silent drama. We know of no cinema production that surpasses in beauty and popular interest those bearing the Griff ith-Artcraft trade mark and we recommend “The Great Love” to you with the firm conviction that you will acclaim it one of the very best spectacles ever displayed at our theatre.

Hoping to see you at the premier, we beg to remain.

Yours sincerely.

Manager

Paramount Press Books (Jun-Aug 1918)
Paramount Press Books (Jun-Aug 1918)

Back to Lillian Gish Home page