- Carmen Reporto, November 2 1973
- Ambassador East Hotel
- Subject: Lillian Gish
- “Lillian Gish of The Movie’s”
- Peggy (Piggy) Constantine has the story.
It is a shame to try to explain Lillian Gish in words. She needs to be seen and heard so that everyone understands why she makes a vivid, marvelous impression on those who meet her.
She has, of course, been on stage and screen by millions. She dates her stage career to 1905, when she was 5, and her movie career to 1913. She still works fulltime, lecturing on the movies from 1900 to 1928 to college students here and abroad; playing, as she did last summer, in “Uncle Vanya” on the New York stage, or crisscrossing the country now to talk about her new book, “Dorothy and Lillian Gish” (Scribners, $19.95).
“I am like a flea. I am forever hopping here, there and everywhere.”
She wanted to talk about her book. That was what she came here to do. It is an album of some 800 photographs, taken from 4.000 of her late sister Dorothy’s and her own stage and movie careers. Miss Gish has written wonderfully lighthearted commentary to go with the photographs.
“I followed Mark Twain’s advice. He said take your time and you can write a short letter. I took my time and kept the comments short. The book is the working life of two actresses who had around 100 movies together or alone and about 50 plays for each.”
But there is the history of the movies, beginnings and all its important people churning in her mind and she likes to talk about that too.
Be clear in your mind, first, that is not a woman holding onto ghosts of the past. She loves movies of Fellini and Fred Zinnemann and Stanley Kubrick. She spoke specifically of liking “The Day of The Jackal” and such controversial movies as “2001; A Space Odyssey” and “Clockwork Orange.” She said she sat through “2001” and thought how wonderful, how beautiful that director Stanley Kubrick has such a fine mind.
At the same time, she is rather tired of violence, guns and autos chasing each other all the time. “It’s all right for a while. But I wonder about taste. I think censorship is not American, but taste is beautiful …”
Peggy Constantine of Sunday Times Nov 6, 1973