Lillian Gish Plays Hawthorne Heroine – By Mae Tinee (Chicago Tribune – 1927)

Chicago Tribune – Sunday, March 20, 1927 – Page 43

Lillian Gish Plays Hawthorne Heroine

“The Scarlet Letter”

Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Directed by Victor Seastrom. Presented at the Chicago theater TOMORROW.

The Cast:

  • Hester ……………………..…..…………. Lillian Gish
  • Reverend Dimmesdale …………… Lars Hanson
  • Roger Prynne …….………….. Henry B. Walthall
  • Giles …………………………..………..…… Karl Dane
  • Governor ………………………. William H. Tooker
  • Mistress Hibbins ……….…….. Marcelle Corday
  • Jailer ………………..…………….…….. Fred Herzog
  • Beadle ……………………….…………. Jules Cowles
  • Patience ……………………..………… Mary Hawes
  • Pearl ……………………………………….. Joyce Coad
  • French Sea Captain ……….…. James A. Marcus

By Mae Tinee

Good Morning; Lillian Gish looks like a saint and Lars Hanson looks like Paul Ash in this much “adapted” version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story. And I reckon why the film isn’t being presented at the Oriental is because Messrs. Balaban and Katz know the Oriental fans could never bear to see Paul suffer. SO – because Mr. Hanson, who looks like Mr. Ash, has so much to endure as Rev. Dimmesdale – he’s at the Chicago. (Maybe.)

THE SCARLET LETTER, Lillian Gish (hands clasped front left), Victor Sjostrom (aka Victor Seastrom) (hand in pocket front right) with the crew on-set, 1926
THE SCARLET LETTER, Lillian Gish (hands clasped front left), Victor Sjostrom (aka Victor Seastrom) (hand in pocket front right) with the crew on-set, 1926

Those of you who haven’t read the book may find the film version of “The Scarlet Letter” to your liking. But if you are familiar with the story of Hester Prynne, I’m afraid you’re going to be up on your ear over the liberties that have been taken. The screen production is a life sized portrait of a movie magnate showing Nathaniel Hawthorne how.

There has been much bristling officiousness and the result is the most ordinary sort of melodrama instead of a picture of power and subtlety. “The Scarlet Letter” SHOULD have been one of the great pictures of the day.

Though Lillian Gish is truly beautiful in her doctored role and gives a thoughtful and finished performance, she is as different as possible from the author’s conception of his heroine who was – “tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam, and a face which, besides being beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion, had the impressiveness belonging to a marked brow and deep black eyes … characterized by a certain state of dignity.

A Story of Old Salem

Hester Prynne was a seamstress in Salem, a New England settlement of early Puritan days. The place, you know, where they burned the witches and made Sunday such a bugaboo that no descendant of a Puritan father has to this day entirely shaken off the influence of those Sunday Morning Blues to which his forefolks clumped their mournful way to meeting along around the close of the seventeenth century.

She bore a child out of wedlock, refusing to name the father, who, the picture almost immediately shows you, was the young, earnest, and greatly beloved minister of the community. For her sin she was ordered by the town fathers to wear always and forever on the bosom of her meek and proper dress the scarlet letter “A,” which should stamp her for all beholders to see as a woman taken in adultery.

Lillian Gish (Scarlet Letter, HiRes)_02
17th February 1926: Lillian Gish (1893 – 1993) is punished for bearing a child out of wedlock in the film ‘The Scarlet Letter’, a 17th century melodrama directed by Victor Sjostrom.

(I’m going to write in the present tense if you don’t mind. It’s easier, somehow or other.)

The minister, who loves her deeply, begs to be allowed to declare his own guilt and share her shame. This, Hester steadfastly refuses to let him do, declaring that her greatest punishment would be to know that she had interfered with his work and destroyed his influence. Besides, she is aware of what he is not, that the man to whom she had been married in England – an old surgeon – but whose wife she had never been, has arrived in Salem and, under an assumed name, is hovering about them like a black and leisurely vulture, biding his time to pounce.

This sinister, implacable, waiting man is present through the entire original story. In the picture he appears near the end providing a “WHO-IS-THIS-MAN!”, “STOP-HE-IS-MY-HUSBAND!” scene. That poor Yorick of the melodramas which you know so well.

Henry B Walthall - The Scarlet Letter
Henry B Walthall – The Scarlet Letter

Little Pearl, the Only Bright Spot

The tragedy develops amid the stern, monotonous, petty routine of the Blue Law ridden settlement, the only bright spot in the lives of these three actively unhappy people being little Pearl, that “child of sin,” who, by some strange rank of Fate is a joyous madcap, utterly uncowed by the outcast condition of her mother and herself.

The denouement, as you can imagine, is a dramatic one. The picture ends sadly where the book does not – which amazes me – for the author provides a comparatively happy ending, and WHEN before have the movie makers rejected a happy ending? As a rule they will make one for themselves if the story writer has not been so considerate as to provide a fadeout that will send audiences forth smiling.

The Scarlet Letter Lillian Gish
Lillian’s Protegee The story of “The Scarlet Letter” gave Lillian Gish, as Hester Prynne, many scenes with little Joyce Coad, who plays Pearl. And Miss Gish believes that Joyce, who is the winner of a California baby contest, will win an esteemed place for herself on the screen. Photo Motion Picture Magazine (Aug 1926-Jan 1927)

In the novel little Pearl, it is told, becomes one of the richest heiresses in England and Hester Prynne, having seen her darling cared for, returns to the scene of her shame and becomes a woman generally beloved. In the lapse of the toilsome, thoughtful, self-devoted years that made up Hester’s life the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world’s bitterness and became a type of something to be sorrowed over and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence, too. And as Hester Prynne had no selfish ends nor lived in any measure for her own profit and enjoyment, people brought all their sorrows and perplexities and besought her counsel as one who herself had gone through a mighty trouble.

Hester Prynne worried for her ill daughter - Lillian Gish - Scarlet Letter
Hester Prynne worried for her ill daughter – Lillian Gish – Scarlet Letter

Passing Up Some Fine Chances

To this “tall woman in a gray robe” there came from England letters with armorial seals … “and once Hester was seen embroidering a baby garment with such a lavish richness of golden fancy as would have raised a public tumult had any infant thus appareled been shown to our sober-hued community.” …

Can you FEATURE how any movie maker ever passed up the chances offered in those last three paragraphs? Mi-gosh, I can’t.

So much for the stories – Mr. Hawthorne’s and Mr. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s.

The acting throughout is splendid. I foretell great popularity for the Ash-en Mr. Hanson. Sets and costumes are picturesque and of the period. Such scenery as there is lovely and the photography is everything in the world it should be. Also there are some comedy situations which I sincerely hope you may enjoy.

In closing, fans dear, may I remark regarding this film that

“If with joy you’d on it look,

Prithee, do not read the book!”

See you tomorrow!

The Scarlet Letter Hvar 8 Dag Swedish Mag 1926
The Scarlet Letter Hvar 8 Dag Swedish Mag 1926

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THE STAGE “Uncle Vanya” – By Charles Collins (Chicago Tribune – 1930)

Chicago Tribune – Tuesday October 20, 1930 Page 29

THE STAGE

“Uncle Vanya”

A play by Anton Chekhoff, translated by Rose Caylor; given at the Harris theater Oct. 20, 1930, under the management of Gilbert Miller. Production by Jed Harris.

Lillian Gish - Uncle Vanya (Harris)
Lillian Gish – Uncle Vanya (Harris)

The Cast:

  • Marina ……………………………….. Kate Mayhew
  • Michael Astroff …….……..…… Osgood Perkins
  • Uncle Vanya ……………….…… Walter Connolly
  • Alexander Serebrakoff ……… Eugene Powers
  • Ilya Telegin …………….…….. Eduardo Ciannelli
  • Helena …………………..………………. Lillian Gish
  • Mme. Voinitskaya …….…………… Isabel Irving
  • A Servant ………………….……. Harold Johnsrud

By Charles Collins

We have watched the visiting Russians of the Moscow Art theater dream wistfully through the gentle, lyric melancholy of Chekhoff’s plays without understanding a word of them, and have applauded prodigiously. Now we have an opportunity to get the full flavor of this famous Slav in sympathetic translation and in acting that is mellow with his racial characteristics. “Uncle Vanya,” new at the Harris theater, supplies it, and if we who were charmed by the company from Moscow do not react to it with enthusiasm we are merely cultural frauds. For this “Uncle Vanya” is better Chekhoff for us than that of the admirable Moscovians – because it is clear, intelligible play-going, freed from the fog of uncomprehended words.

This translation, adepts in Russian literature assert, catches the fluid prose-poetry of Chekhoff style and is close to the gray, pensive spirit of the original dialogue. But even without the value of being understandable by American audiences, this staging of “Uncle Vanya” would still be excellent Chekhoff. I can imagine Stanislavsky of Moscow praising it as worthy of his Seagull theater, where Chekhoff was held as a patron saint until the soviet government banned his works as too pleasantly reminiscent of the czarist regime. Here you have an ideal cast and an admirable interpretation; true “art theater” stuff.

Jed Harris
Jed Harris (The Curse of Genius – Cover)

Jed Harris, who staged this production, is the same young Mr. Harris who clicked of such successes as “Broadway,” “The Royal Family,” and “The Front Page.” His touch as a director jas been marked by speed and wire edged nervous energy. But when he went Russian, Mr. Harris seemed to say to himself, “Now I will show them what I can do with the soft pedal.” His “Uncle Vanya” is as quiet and moody and entranced as anything that ever came out from Russia. Perhaps the only criticism that Stanislavsky would make of it is: “This is a little too Russian, for beneath his melancholy, Chekhoff has a sense of ironical humor.”

Uncle Vanya
Uncle Vanya

This story of boredom and frustration and minor heartaches in a Russian provincial home comes across the footlights with persuasive human values. It charms like a dark opal; it fascinates the attention as it gropes through its dim lights and its petty incidents. This is Chekhoff in his true stageworthy quality; and it explains, better than any poring over the entire body of his work in translation, why he is rated as one of the major Russian dramatists. This performance also, is what American art theaters have been striving for and almost always missing.

Lillian Gish - Uncle Vanya
Lillian Gish – Uncle Vanya

Lillian Gish floats through the picture like a symbol of fugitive romance, escaping the clutching hands of men hungry for an ideal love. Osgood Perkins is the disillusioned country doctor, somewhat Byronical in his pose – a crisp, complete characterization. The petulant and dejected Vanya is effectively treated as an amiable frustrate [who puts a bit of melodrama into the play with some wild revolver shooting] by Walter Connolly. The professor, an intellectual fake and browbeating stuffed shirt who is the family incubus, is strikingly represented by Eugene Powers. Sad, sincere little Sonia, whose heart is so hopelessly broken, is played with winsome truth by Zita Johann.

If you want Chekhoff, here it is. And if you know an “art theater” when you see one, for the next two weeks you must consider the Harris in that category.

Lillian Gish - Uncle Vanya
Osgood Perkins and Lillian Gish – Uncle Vanya
Lillian Gish - Uncle Vanya
Lillian Gish – Uncle Vanya

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Reincarnation (Uncle Vanya) Chicago Tribune – 1930

Lillian Gish (promo - before Uncle Vanya)
Lillian Gish (promo – before Uncle Vanya)

Chicago Tribune – Sunday October 26, 1930 Page 75

Reincarnation

“Uncle Vanya” represents a perfectly balanced cast under consummate stage direction – and for play-goers who are immune to the subtle, brooding enchantment of Chekhoff. It offers a pretty lady whose name was a household word in the great days of David Wark Griffith and the silent silver screen. She, of course, is Lillian Gish, fair haired, slender, spirituelle – an actress who might have stepped out of Tennyson’s lyrics – “She has a lovely face, the Lady of Shalott.”

Universal Images Group 1930 Uncle Vanya (Helena) Lillian Gish
Universal Images Group 1930 Uncle Vanya (Helena) Lillian Gish

Miss Gish has made an extremely happy return to the stage. Her sisters of the films who are now planning to descend upon the drama in swarms – Mary Pickford, Colleen Moore, and all the others who have issued their challenges to the playwrights – may well envy her. She is a perfect type for Checkhoff’s fragile, evasive Helena; she has had the coaching of Jed Harris, a master of stage direction; and she has made this new debut not as a star but as one of a group of cooperative artists. The production of “Uncle Vanya” was not a ballyhoo for Lillian Gish, but it has refreshed and renewed her reputation in a distinguished manner. She proves herself, by her admirable realization of Checkhoff’s heroine, a highly accomplished actress.

Lillian Gish - Uncle Vanya
Lillian Gish – Uncle Vanya

Checkhoff’s chronic melancholy would have vanished if he could have seen Miss Gish and Osgood Perkins in his “Uncle Vanya.” Being a Russian and an invalid, he suffered intense agonies over the production of his plays. His letters contain big complaints over the acting his characters received. Apparently he was a man of fiction.

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Lillian Gish Still Favors Long Tresses – By Antoinette Donnelly (Chicago Tribune – 1938)

Chicago Tribune – Saturday, April 9, 1938 Page 9

Lillian Gish Still Favors Long Tresses

By Antoinette Donnelly

We talked backstage recently with Lillian Gish, player of the leading role in one of Broadway’s hits of the season, “Star Wagon”. We found her with her waist-length hair hanging, a sight that gladdens the eye unaccustomed to hair rarely even more than shoulder length. Miss Gish’s hair is a beautiful color, too. A silvery ash blonde that she claims has darkened as this type of hair usually does, but it still is, to us, a beautiful silvery ash tone.

Lillian Gish Portrait Promo the tventies detail

We asked Miss Gish how she managed to survive the temptation to cut the long locks, after she admitted never having succumbed once to the urge for short hair. She explained that her hair had been earning her living for her since she was a youngster and that now she has a superstition about cutting it.

Lillian Gish in The Wind - cropped detail close up

Incidentally, we had been at a smart hair showing previously and observed the coiffures built up high. Maybe they are coming in, after all the protest. Anyway, we saw a half dozen of them that afternoon and noted a something that won’t ever bother Miss Gish. The something was the stray wisps, reminiscent of another day when those stray wisps were the bane of our sex. Today’s wisps naturally are the result of hair cut too recently for the high up dressing, so that women who have weathered the scissors storm will be the best models for the high up coiffures.

Lillian Gish in The Enemy - still frame cropped detail

Miss Gish’s silhouette is slim as can be. She is one of those luckies who can eat all and sundry without watching a scale. She thinks, as a consequence, that fat is a matter of glands, not food, although some of the rest of us have good reason to suspect otherwise. No doubt the fact that Miss Gish has been a dancing school fan and attendant since she was a youngster has much to do with her slim figure. She does think dancing good for that, a good exercise for anything. But after taking up fencing her enthusiasms have swung over to it as the perfect exercise for women’s figures and also for the eye and mind alertness it encourages, or rather demands. More women are going in for the fencing, she reports, realizing it to be one grand all around exercise.

Lillian Gish portrait detail cca 1930

Speaking of dress and best dressed women, Miss Gish recalled a remark once made to her about certain women appearing to wear two or even three dresses in one because of the one frock being weighted down with trimming and other gewgaws. Her favorite dress designer is patronized by Miss Gish because of her great skill in turning out a frock completely shorn in those fatal extras.

One superb quality Miss Gish possesses is a great calm, a “quiet,” as we choose to call it, and nominate it top place in exposition of charm. Not an excess motion, a useless play of expression, or a distracting gesture.

 

Lillian Gish by Fred Hartsook detail portrait

Pictorial Star Wagon

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Lillian Gish – raising money for the Red Cross (Chicago Tribune – Sunday July 7, 1940)

Chicago Tribune – Sunday July 7, 1940 – Page 50

Raising Money for the Red Cross

Lillian Gish, Percy Waram, and the other members of the “Life With Father” company at the Blackstone theater have already raised approximately $1,200 for the Red Cross and other war relief organizations. Every member of the company, including actors, house staff and backstage crew, makes a voluntary weekly contribution from his salary. Miss Gish, it seems, is noted for her susceptibility to charitable appeals. By the simple expedient of selling her autograph instead of giving it away, she has raised about $100 in two months for Orphans of the Storm, Irene Castle McLaughlin’s dog shelter. This is partly a nostalgic gesture, of course, for Mrs. McLaughlin’s haven derives its name from a celebrated David Wark Griffith silent movie in which Miss Gish was starred.

** According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today’s prices in 2020 are 1,741.41% higher than average prices since 1940. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.71% per year during this period, causing the real value of a dollar to decrease. In other words, $1 in 1940 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $18.41 in 2020, a difference of $17.41 over 80 years. The 1940 inflation rate was 0.72%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2019 to 2020) is now 0.65%.

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Lillian Gish honored by fans she loves best – movie people – By Gene Siskel (Chicago Tribune – 1977)

Chicago Tribune – June 23 1977 Thursday, Page 21

Tempo People

Lillian Gish honored by fans she loves best – movie people

By Gene Siskel – movie critic

signed promotional full cast photo - a wedding

THE MOVIE is called “A Wedding,” but the scene Wednesday was “an affair,” an affair to celebrate the wonderful career of actress Lillian Gish, the silent film star who at age 80 is completing her 65th year in films.

Miss Gish worked three days this week in Lake Bluff in her role as a grandmother in “A Wedding,” reportedly her 100th film. Producer – director Robert Altman organized the surprise party to let Miss Gish know “it was such a thrill for us to work with you.”

The party was on the back lawn of the fabulous Lester Armour estate in Lake Bluff, where Altman is filming his comic tale of a mixed marriage between old and new money. Seated on folding chairs waiting to surprise Miss Gish were many of her costars in the film, including Carol Burnett, Mia Farrow, Dina Merrill, and Vittorio Gassman.

Lillian Gish - A Wedding
Lillian Gish – A Wedding

A few minutes earlier, Miss Gish had been filming her death scene inside the Armour house. Says the family doctor to her daughter after Gish’s character kicks the bucket, “I thought she was waving hello, when she really was waving good-bye.”

Robert Altman - Lillian Gish (A Wedding)
Robert Altman – Lillian Gish (A Wedding)

Miss Gish was lured outside for a supposed press party for the movie. She quickly realized it was her show, however, when she saw the cake and its inscription, “Lillian Gish – 100th film.”

“I DON’T DESERVE THAT,” she said looking at the cake as a dozen photographers and cameramen scrambled for position. One photographer got down on his knees and aimed his camera up at Miss Gish. Suddenly the surprise party became a photography lesson.

“Not up my nose,” she said. “No low angles. If God wanted people shot from low angles, he would’ve put your eyes at your bellybutton.”

The crowd roared at Miss Gish – ever conscious of how she looks – continued her impromptu lecture.

“Oh, no,” she said, noticing the bright sun, “an overhead light with no reflector!” What she wanted was the light to play on her eyes, because it is with one’s eyes, she said later, that people best reveal their emotions. “If people can’t see your eyes, how can you tell your story?”

A Wedding
Robert Altman helping Lillian Gish to cut the cake made especially to mark her 100th movie anniversary – A Wedding

The Lillian Gish film story dates to 1912, when she and her late sister, Dorothy, began making short films for D.W. Griffith, the pioneer filmmaker of “Birth of a Nation,” “Intolerance,” “Broken Blossoms,” and “Way Down East,” all of which starred Lillian Gish.

MISS GISH successfully lobbied for the United States postal stamp commemorating Griffith issued this year, the first such honor for a filmmaker. Miss Gish said she owns 500 Griffith stamps, in addition to one gold, 20 silver and 10 bronze medals commemorating Griffith.

For years Lillian Gish has sung the praises of Griffith through lectures. Her autobiography, published in 1969 is titled “The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me,” a title that describes – in order – her life’s priorities.

A Wedding
Carol Burnett, Lillian Gish and Mia Farrow – A Wedding

Predictably, the next project for this remarkable woman also involves the movies. “Most of all I want to finish ‘Silver Story,’ a television special that tells the story of films from their very beginning up until 1928.”

The stars working with Miss Gish each have own stories about her. “When I first saw her on the set,” said Burnett, “she came to me and said, ‘You have so many faces. Which one are you going to use for this film?’ I was surprised she knew who I was,” Burnett said. “I guess I didn’t believe that someone so extraordinary would ever watch TV.”

“I had met her in the ‘40s when I was a little girl,” Merrill recalled, “and I couldn’t believe it, but she remembered. She walked up to me and said, ‘Do you remember when I met you at Mary Pickford’s house? I then asked her if she remembered my mother (the late socialite Marjorie Merrieweather Post).”

“’Of course I remember your mother,’ she said, ‘Who do you think I’m playing in this movie?’

“She is an exquisite, fragile creature,” Merrill said of Miss Gish. “She still has an ethereal beauty.”

A Wedding
Lillian Gish and Geraldine Chaplin – A Wedding

After the cake cutting, Lillian Gish talked to reporters for 30 minutes. She answered each question precisely, displaying total recall of her career. When the question-and-answer session was over, the screen veteran said, “Now I’m the slowest eater in the world I must have 45 minutes to eat lunch.”

One suspects that Lillian Gish took exactly 45 minutes to eat lunch. Maybe a few minutes less, but, always a professional, not one minute more.

Illustration

Yes it’s a cake and, yes, it’s also on the set of “A Wedding” in Lake Bluff, but the occasion is the 100th film of Lillian Gish (cutting cake). Director Robert Altman samples the pastry while actresses Amy Stryker (left) and Dina Merrill look on.

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 23 Jun 1977, Thu Page 21
Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 23 Jun 1977, Thu Page 21 (A Wedding cast celebrating 100th Gish film)

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A Lady With Class – By Liz Smith (Chicago Tribune – 1969)

Chicago Tribune – May 18 1969

A Lady With Class

By Liz Smith

Lillian Gish: The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me. By Lillian Gish with Ann Pinchot. Illustrated. Prentice-Hall. 388pp.

The Movies Mr.Griffith and Me
The Movies Mr.Griffith and Me

A lady With Class - Chicago Tribune 1

The Movies Mr. Griffith and Me (03 1969) - Griffith demonstrating his rapport with animals — with D. W. Griffith.

A lady With Class - Chicago Tribune 2

The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me – Photo Gallery

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Salaam (The Scarlet Letter) – By Norbert Lusk (Picture Play Magazine – Nov. 1926)

Picture Play Magazine – November 1926 Vol. XXV No. 3

The Screen in Review

By Norbert Lusk

The Scarlet Letter Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson
The Scarlet Letter – Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson

Salaam (The Scarlet Letter)

Lillian Gish’s performance in “The Scarlet Letter” recaptures all the praise ever bestowed on her, and by the same token should erase all memory of the shortcomings charged against her. For her Hester Prynne is shimmering perfection, and is completely her own. The scenario of “The Scarlet Letter” is not wholly, however, the story of Hawthorne’s novel, though the liberties taken with it could scarcely offend the most captious. As you see this beautiful picture on the screen it occurs to you that there was no need to have followed the letter of the book at all. What has come from it is fine and true.

The spirit of Puritan days has been preserved with reverence and, at times, humor, while Frances Marion’s story is a model of screen technique and skillful compromise with the censors. Behind the story of the ill-starred lovers is a sharply etched study of the habits, customs, and psychology of our forefathers, yet it is never merely a presentation of detail but takes its proper place in unfolding the story of the seamstress who loved the Reverend Dimmesdale and who sacrificed herself that the towns people might never lose their ideal of his goodness. Lars Hanson, the Swedish actor who makes his first American appearance as Dimmesdale, might easily have stolen the picture from an actress of lesser gifts. His is a magnificent performance—poise, repression, and spirituality being blended into a character as dominating as it is appealing. The slow, gathering intentness of Hanson’s gaze is one of his most potent means of expressing thought and emotion. It is amazing on the screen.

But for that matter the entire cast with a single exception is of the highest order. Henry B. Walthall as Roger Prynne, Hester’s sinister husband, plays with repressed power, and Karl Dane and William H. Tooker offer lifelike characterizations.

Henry B Walthall - The Scarlet Letter
Henry B Walthall – The Scarlet Letter

The one exception to me was Joyce Coad as Pearl, Hester’s daughter. Here was a hearty, black-eyed child with a length of limb that nearly brought her up to Miss Gish’s shoulder, wholly unlike the frail flower my imagination created as the offspring of Hester and Dimmesdale. When Miss Gish carried her, the full force of a sacrifice to art came to me, and I hoped she wouldn’t break under the muscular strain.

The Scarlet Letter Lillian Gish
Lillian’s Protegee The story of “The Scarlet Letter” gave Lillian Gish, as Hester Prynne, many scenes with little Joyce Coad, who plays Pearl. And Miss Gish believes that Joyce, who is the winner of a California baby contest, will win an esteemed place for herself on the screen. Photo Motion Picture Magazine (Aug 1926-Jan 1927)

Victor Seastrom’s direction is that of a master, and the Scandinavian’s sympathy with the traditions of our rock-bound New England is strongly manifested in every scene.

Scarlet Letter Ad - Picture-Play Magazine (Sep 1926-Feb 1927)
Scarlet Letter Ad – Picture-Play Magazine (Sep 1926-Feb 1927)

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