The Film Daily – September 9, 1923
Reviews of the Newest Features
Lillian Gish in “The White Sister”
Producer: Inspiration Pictures
Distributor: Not yet determined
As a Whole…. ANOTHER MAGNIFICENT PRODUCTION:
WHETHER A GREAT PICTURE AT THE BOX OFFICE TO BE DETERMINED TRAGIC END MAY ALSO HAVE ITS EFFECT.
What a magnificent performance Lillian Gish gives! Sincerity and repression dominate. Ronald Colman, a new leading man, will be in demand after this. Long cast of excellent players includes J. Barney Sherry and Gail Kane.
Type of Story
Tragic, inasmuch as all important characters, excepting heroine, die at finish. Beautiful romance of young girl taking the veil when she believes her fiancee dead, only to find him alive when she cannot marry him because of her vows to the church. In the end he dies during an eruption of Vesuvius, while warning the people of their danger.
Box Office Angle
Gorgeously mounted; magnificent in construction; a tremendous lot of money spent—one sees it—ranking this as one of the greatest pictures ever made, with Miss Gish giving an outstandingly notable performance, still you had better see this before you book it. The chief reason that you must see it is that it contains material which may provoke much discussion relative to the Catholic church; the taking of the vow and the resultant problem faced by the lovers. There are several titles and sequences, which, if not removed, will certainly provoke much discussion on this point. Exploitation Vast material is at your hand to put this one over. First, you have the name of the star who has not appeared since “Orphans of the Storm,” and who has a big fan clientele. Tell them she does the finest work of her long and meritorious career. Then you have the name of Henry King, and remind them he made “Tol’able David” and other successes. Get a trailer showing the eruption of Vesuvius; the death of the older sister by being dashed from a carriage when the horses bolt; the fox hunt—they are all fine sequences and should easily bring them back.
Henry King; has done a magnificent piece of work. Places him among the very leaders.
- Author F. Marion Crawford
- Scenario by… George V. Hobart and others
- Cameraman Roy Overbaugh
- Photography …. Some interior shots cloudy. Otherwise good.
- Locale Italian exteriors and interiors. Both magnificent — and real.
- Length About 13,000 feet; will be cut for general distribution.