Diane of the Follies (1916)

Diane of the Follies (1916)
Director: Christy Cabanne (as William Christy Cabanne)

Writer: D.W. Griffith (as Granville Warwick)

Comedy/Drama 55 mins. “Virgins are the hardest roles to play. Those dear little girls – to make them interesting takes great vitality, but a fallen woman or a wamp! – 75 per cent of your work is already done.”

  • (Miss Lillian Gish) Lillian Gish … Diane
  • Sam De Grasse … Phillips Christy
  • Howard Gaye … Don Livingston
  • Lillian Langdon … Marcia Christy
  • Allan Sears … Jimmie Darcy (as A.D. Sears)
  • Wilbur Higby … Theatrical Manager
  • William De Vaull … Butler
  • Wilhelmina Siegmann … Bijou Christy
  • Adele Clifton … Follies Girl
  • Clara Morris … Follies Girl
  • Helen Wolcott … Follies Girl
  • Grace Heins … Follies Girl


Aristocrat Phillips Christy ( Sam DE Grasse ), an emotionless amateur sociologist, believes that people are shaped by environment, and when he falls in love with Diane ( Lillian Gish ) , a follies actress, he vows to put theory into practice. By marrying Diane, he feels that he will cultivate all of her “better” qualities. After a few years of Phillips’ high-tone, snobbish lifestyle, however, Diane yearns for a return to the stage, and when Phillips disapproves of a visit from some of her theatrical friends, she leaves her husband and daughter Bijou ( Wilhelmina Siegmann ), and becomes a Broadway star. When Bijou dies suddenly, Phillips asks Diane to come back to him after the funeral, but Diane tells him that she will stay on the stage and that the different lives they have chosen mean that they will never see each other again. This 1916 silent drama was produced by the Fine Arts Film Company, and directed by Christy Cabanne. Starring the beautiful Lillian Gish, sadly this film remains lost. Hopefully a copy survives and resurfaces for fans of Miss Gish and silent cinema.

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