The particular genius of Lillian Gish lies in making the definite charmingly indefinite. Her technique consists in thinking out a characterization directly and concretely and then executing it in terms of semi-vague suggestion. The acting of every other woman in the moving pictures is a thing of hard, set lines; the acting of Lillian Gish is a thing of a hundred shadings, hints and implications. The so-called wistful smile of the usual movie actress is a mere matter of drawing the lips coyly back from the gums; her tears are a mere matter of inhaling five times rapidly through the nose, blinking the eyes and letting a few drops of glycerine trickle down the left cheek.
Miss Gish is a rarely fascinating personality in the theater, moving consciously about; falling into unconsciously graceful poses; speaking in a gentle voice with modest expression; suggesting a little girl playing most intelligently at acting, but still a little girl.
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- Los Angeles Herald, Volume XLIV, Number 51, 31 December 1918
- GRIFFITH’S NEXT BIG FILM IS ‘BABYLON’
With lines as long as a showman’s dream pounding against the box office where “The Greatest Thing in Life” is showing, D. W. Griffith announces he is going to take off the big holiday hit Saturday night and replace it with the story of “Babylon” taken from his stupendous “Intolerance.” So many requests received from every section of the country at the time Mr. Griffith’s spectacle was first shown, have finally led him to release the story of Babylon as a separate and distinct picture. In the former version there were about three reels dealing with the destruction of the city. The new play, however, contains the complete historical romance of the mountain girl who would have saved her city had her king been sufficiently sober to listen to her warnings. Embellished with thousands of feet of photographs taken in the actual valley of the Euphrates, the new production contains but a passing resemblance to the story of “Intolerance.’’ The massive spectacle of the destruction of the city is there with several hundred scenes added, bringing out the vanished glory of that ancient time in a way that was not attempted in the “Intolerance’’ version. Constance Talmadge is seen as the mountain girl, supported by a cast that can never again be gathered. It includes Tully Marshall, Elmer Clifton. Mildred Harris Chaplin, George Siegmann, Seena Owen, Elmo Lincoln and many others who have since earned their right to stardom. The presentation of “The Fall of Babylon” will begin with the matinee performance at Clune’s Auditorium next Monday.
- San Bernardino Sun, Volume 40, 25 March 1934
- Dinner at Eight at West Coast
“Dinner at Eight” with its superlative all-star cast, and “His Double Life,” a provoking comedy featuring Lillian Gish and Roland Young, make up the splendid double-feature program opening today at the Fox West Coast theater. The cast of “Dinner at Eight” practically tells the story, and when this array of excellent actors is combined with a plot both clever, amusing and dramatic, there is nothing more to ask for. The beloved Marie Dressler is there with John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore, Lee Tracy, Edmund Lowe, Billie Burke, Madge Evans, Jean Hersholt, Karen Morley, Louise Closser Hale, Phillips Holmes, May Robson and half a dozen more. “His Double Life” will provide plenty of laughs as well as the first glimpse of Lillian Gish on the screen in many a month. Miss Gish, who once held the brightest of spotlights in films, has devoted most of her time in recent years to the legitimate stage.
His Double Life – Photo Gallery
His Double Life – The Film (Paramount)
- San Bernardino Sun, Volume 48, Number 90, 13 June 1918
- Last Showing at Opera House for “Hearts of the World”
Robert Harron, the Boy, and Lillian Gish, the Girl, have for this picture done the best work of their respective careers. As the daredevil American of the French troops, Robert Harron wins favor by his unostentatious bravery and Yankee pluck. He is the central figure in numerous hand-to-hand fights that for ferociousness are different from screen encounters heretofore shown.
There has been a very noticeably change in Miss Gish’s style of acting, and this is by far the greatest work she has ever done. Dorothy Gish, as the little disturber, a strolling singer, was applauded- almost every time she appeared on the screen, each time with more enthusiasm.
Dorothy Gish has been popular heretofore, but this play will make for her a niche in stardom few actresses have been successful in attaining. As the boy’s companions of the French company, Robert Anderson and George Fawcett were easily the other favorites of the male contingent of the big cast, while little Ben Alexander, age about four years, steps forth as an infant prodigy.
Those who saw “The Clansman” remember George Siegmann’s “Lynch,” and will find him giving a characterization equally as remarkable. His role is that of Von Strohm, the German secret service agent. Other former Griffith players seen to advantage in this most recent success are Josephine Crowell, Kate Bruce and Anna May Walthall.
Hearts of the World – Photo Gallery
- Santa Cruz Evening News, Volume 41, Number 1, 1 November 1927
- Lillian Gish Stars at New Santa Cruz
Annie Laurie beloved in song and romance through the centuries whose name is one to call up visions of the romantic Highlands and the delicate sentiment of Robert Burns and the ancient bards – Annie Laurie has come to life again. She held big audiences enthralled with her charm, and the charm of the romantic land of her birth; the mighty romance of Scotland, last night at the New Santa Cruz theatre, when “Annie Laurie,” Lillian Gish’s new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer vehicle, was shown. Lillian Gish literally is Annie Laurie. Those who imagined her as a myth or legend will be amazed at the actual woman for Miss Gish is a faithful portrayer of the real Annie Laurie, who lived centuries ago whose love and whose heroism turned the tide of Scottish history in a real life drama more powerful than any imagined by a scenarist; and whose romance has come down to the world in the song of the ancient bard. Tonight will see the final showings of the greatest starring vehicle of Miss Gish’s brilliant career.
San Diego Union and Daily Bee, 7 December 1916
Superba – The Children Pay
Vital in theme and run or genuine human interest, “The Children Pay,” in which Lillian Gish is starred, will open for a four-day run at the Superba Theatre today. Lillian Gish appears as Millicent Ainsley, the oldest of two sisters, whose parents have neglected them sadly In order to pursue their own selfish careers, which finally culminate in a divorce. The two girls grow up in a neglected fashion. Millicent, having an Inventive genius, bending her energy to building various “contraptions” which are unique and interesting, until the courts take up the issue of deciding which parent shall care for them. The eldest girl (Lillian Gish) refuses to choose, after the younger has decided on going to her mother. The problem of granting the custody of the children properly falls to the judge. At this juncture, a new and novel manner of weaving a romance into the plot of a drama it’s introduced by the playwright, and Superba audiences undoubtedly will enjoy the manner in which the plot is worked out. “The Children Pay,” which is a lesson to parents who are not considerate of the welfare of their children, is in the same time a fine starring vehicle for Miss Gish.
Morning Press, Volume 45, Number 96, 24 December 1916
‘The Childrens Pay’ Tomorrow at Mission
Lillian Gish in ‘The Children’ Pay,’ new Triangle-Fine Arts play beginning at the Mission Monday, adds another portrait to her rapidly increasing gallery of screen heroines. She appears as Millicent Ainsley, the eldest of two girls whose parents have negleted them grievously in order to pursue their own selfish careers, which finally culminate in a divorce. The children grow up in a small town, apart from both father and mother, under the lax hand of Susan, an indulgent old servant. They are isolated from companions of their own age, and cruel taunts are firing at them by the neighbors. Millicent, who is a decided tomboy and something of an inventive genius, has to fight their battles until Horace Craig, a young law student, takes an interest in the affairs of the girls. Then events take place that threaten for a time to force the girls to look forward to a future and unhappy relationship with their divorced parents. In court, however, things suddenly take an unexpected but highly satisfying turn, and the problems that have given the children so many heartaches are all at once swept away. There is much unaffected originality in the plot of the story, and the underlying idea is one that will interest everyone who has ever been a child, or who has had children. Lillian Gish is said to do very convincing work in the rather difficult role of girl who is both spoiled and saddened by the tragedy of her youth. Violet Wilkie in her Triangle debut as the younger girl, and others in a cast of well known Fine Arts players are Ralph as the father, Loyola O’Connor as the mother, Carl Stockdale as the, judge and Alma Reubens as the step mother.
LILLIAN GISH IN NEW TRIANGLE-FINE ARTS PLAY, “THE CHILDREN PAY.”
San Jose Mercury-news, Volume XCI, Number 173, 20 December 1916
LILLIAN GISH IN “THE CHILDREN PAY” AT THE LIBERTY TODAY.
Lillian Gish in “The children Pay,” new Fine Arts play, adds another portrait to her rapidly increasing gallery of screen heroines at the Liberty today and tomorrow. She appears as Millicent Ainsley, the eldest of two girls whose parents have neglected them grievously In order to pursue their own selfish careers, which finally culminate In a divorce. The children grow up in a small town, apart from both father and mother, under the lax hand of Susan, an indulgent old servant. They are Isolated from companions of their own age, and cruel taunts are flung at them by the neighbors. Millicent, who is a decided tomboy and something of an Inventive genius, has to fight their battles until Horace Craig, a young law student, takes an interest In the affairs of the girls. Then events take place that threaten for a time to force the girls to look forward to a future of unhappy relationship with their divorced parents. In court, however, things suddenly take an unexpected but highly satisfying turn, and the problems that have given the children so many heartaches are all at once swept away.
Riverside Daily Press, Volume XXXII, Number 9, 10 January 1917
Friday and Saturday Lillian Gish comes in “The Children Pay.” Lillian is seen in the part of a daughter of a wealthy man of affairs who sends the daughter away with a son, after divorcing his wife. In the village she is ostracized and turns her attention to inventing things. Her biggest success is a racing car in which she has lots of fun. It is a drama dealing with the evils of divorce. The racing contraption used in this picture was made for Miss Gish by Barney Oldfield.
Press Democrat, Volume XLIV, Number 1, 3 January 1917
‘The Children Pay’ shown at Clune today
In this unique “go-devil” she tears over the public highways at the risk of life and limb and to the horror of the local Puritans. The strange speed-wagon shown in this play was built especially for Miss Gish at the private machine shop of Barney Oldfield, while the great record-smasher was appearing recently in Los Angeles. After watching the fair Lillian guide the cranky little contrivance, Barney predicted that she would someday retire from the motion picture field long enough to beat him at his own game.
Lillian Gish, Triangle
- Marysville Daily Appeal, Volume CXIII, Number 74, 26 September 1916
- THE LIBERTY
Lillian Gish, the famous and beautiful moving picture star will appear tonight for the last time at the Liberty theater in ‘An Innocent Magdalene.” Mere Man has just has another thrill. He has just had an advance glimpse of “An Innocent Magdalene,” in which Lillian Gish is starring on the Triangle programme, and knows about a whole lot of other new fashions. He watched very carefully, because he wants to tell his wife all about them. “Listen, Penelope,” he says to his wife which he makes swimming motions with his hands; “Lillian had one gown that was some pippin. At a distance, you’d swear it was put on her by a concrete mixer.
No matter which way she turns, you can’t see any joints in it. It looks to me as though it was made with one long ribbon wound around her until one end comes under her left ear and other comes just above her right ankle. There are ruffles and ruffles and then some—built, I should judge, on the principle of the Ashokan watershed. Another cuckoo that she wears before the second reel is over, hasn’t a darn bit of decoration on it except a fal-lal —or a fol-de-rol, or some sort of flimsy shawl arrangement with daisies splotched all over it. If it wasn’t for that, I’d say the style of it was the period of the flood because I used to have women dressed like that in my Noah’s Ark when I was a kid: and if it wasn’t for the shoulded-straps on the funny thing, the period would be set still earlier. It is a thrilling story.
It is an appealing story and the treatment is nothing if it is not delicate and artistic. Allan Dwan had a splendidly constructed scenario to work from and an intelligent cast to work with. The director himself rose to the occasion and the result is “An Innocent Magdalene,” a picture of rare charm. It is a picture which creates and sustains a real and artistic illusion. Roy Sumerville wrote the scenario from the story by Granville Warwick. Lillian Gish probably never had better opportunities and probably for that very reason never gave such an impressive characteri ation, and she along with Sam de Grasse and Spottiswoode Aitken and others in the cast compels admiration.