Charles felt that the greatest of the Griffith actresses was Lillian Gish. Her vibrant responsiveness to the demands of scenes was so complete that nothing, no trick or artifice or use of gesture, no single member of her body or even pore of her skin, held her apart from a totally instinctive sense of what her part meant. Her purity and the innocent directness of her approach left him astounded. Tiny and seemingly fashioned of finest steel, she used her narrow face, huge fluttering liquid eyes, and pursed butterfly mouth with the formal precision of a Kabuki actor. Her control of bodily expression was indeed almost Japanese. Given Charles’s love of Japanese art, one can see the appeal she would have for him—the appeal of a great artist in miniature.
- 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 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
- San Bernardino Sun, Volume 48, Number 144, 23 January 1921
- D.W. Griffith’s “Way Down East”
Opera House, Commencing Tomorrow Night at 8 o’clock
D. W. Griffith’s cinema masterpiece, “Way Down East,” commences a five nights and four matinees engagement tomorrow night, January 24. The evenings commence at 8 o’clock and the matinees at 2 o’clock. Note display announcement for prices.
Lillian Gish – In the leading role in D. W. Griffith’s “Way Down East,” has achieved a success that at once places her in the foremost rank of American actresses. Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. Morgan Belmont, a social leader; Creighton Hale, Kate Bruce, Vivia Ogden, Mary Hay, Burr Mcintosh, George Neville, Edgar Nelson, Lowell Sherman, Porter Strong, Florence Short and others are seen. As usual with Griffith production, there in a thematic score played by a large orchestra, and the music is a succession of delightful melodies and impressive compositions, accentuating each situation.
- 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.
- Minneapolis Tribune – February 15, 1981 (Page 30)
- Actress breaks ‘Kate Jackson Doll’
Charleston S.C. – Sitting in Charleston under a hair dryer, preparing to go out into 105 – degree heat and pretend that it was a cool spring day, Kate Jackson told us how her acting career was back on the track.
She stars as Linda Rivers, a 26-year old high school teacher who has a controversial love affair with a 18-year-old student, in “Thin Ice” at 8 p.m. on the “CBS Tuesday Night Movies.”
As she prepared for a scene with Lillian Gish, legendary star who portrays her grandmother, Jackson reflected on her career.
She was born in Birmingham, Ala., and attended college at Ole Miss, but she didn’t participate in theater ventures there. “The theater people were considered weird people,” Jackson said, “I hope that’s no longer true. But when I was in school, all the talented kids who played the flute or wanted to act where made fun of. I worry about the sensitive people who are so easily crushed, simply because the values of our society are so misplaced.
“My way around that was to just not tell anyone I wanted to be an actress. I figured I would just go and do it, and then the other people could talk about it.”
That’s what she did. At 19 she moved to New York, where she enrolled in a two-year course at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. When she graduated, her class’s graduation speaker was Gish.
“I remember she said she couldn’t stand behind the podium because she was too short,” Jackson recalled, “so she stepped around and stood in front of it. Then she proceeded to say wonderful, encouraging things to us, just the very things you would expect a sensitive woman to say to graduates who have a dream that is to extremely difficult to achieve.”
After a nine-month stint on “Dark Shadows” daytime series, Jackson became the female lead in the police action series “The Rookies,” which ran from 1972 to 1976. She went straight from that into the role of Sabrina Carver on “Charlie’s Angels,” starring for three seasons until 1979. During her stint on this series, she admitted, she began to lose perspective on her career.
“I don’t want to knock that series,” she began, “because that show did a lot of good things for me. But during those years I got distracted by the very things that I had always promised myself I would be never distracted by – namely, the hype and the huge amounts of money.
“It becomes funny money. It doesn’t mean anything. Yet, at the same time, it’s pretty hard to quit. It’s hard to look a million dollars in the face and tell it to get into somebody else’s pocket.
“But that third year, I was beginning the question why I disliked the thing that I knew I loved most in the world – acting. I’d reached a point where I not only didn’t love to act, I didn’t even know why I acted.
“You tend to lose perspective when there’s a Kate Jackson Doll. But I knew that I had become an actress in order to communicate with people. I didn’t want to be a Kate Jackson Doll. I didn’t want to be a Kate Jackson lunch box.
“Now,” she said, “once again I’m working for the right reasons – because of the artist that I hope is inside me. And on this particular project I find again all the reasons that I wanted to become an actress in the first place. Now I know why I act, and love it again.
In Tuesday’s movie Jackson portrays Linda Rivers, a South Carolina history teacher whose husband died three years earlier. Rather than renew an active social life, she lives with her grandmother (Gish) and focuses her energies on teaching. By chance during spring vacation, she spends time with 18-year-old Paul McCormick (Gerard Prendergast), one of her students. Almost against her will, they fall in love and enter into an involvement.
Fully aware of the danger in their relationship, Linda and Paul go to great lengths to keep their involvement discreet. But when news of their affair leaks, a community controversy erupts that dramatically alters their lives and compels the couple to confront the seriousness of their actions.
Gish recalled the script “beautiful and intelligent.” She said, “I feel so guilty. My agents are darling with me. They send me scripts by the dozen. If I were starving, maybe I would have to do them. But I’m not, so I don’t.
“Then I was sent ‘Thin Ice’. I said I’d be delighted to be in it because at last, here was a script for adults.”