Young Boswell Interviews Lillian Gish (New York Tribune, 1922)

Young Boswell Interviews Lillian Gish

New York Tribune, Friday, November 24, 1922

Because she is a tragedienne of motion pictures, she best understands the pushed-off-in-a-corner woman. Her beauty is fragile and her emotional appeal subtle. “Broken Blossoms,” though a tragedy, was the finest film, artistically yet produced.

She has created a “movie” technique apart from the stage technique, she has sailed to Italy to produce a new masterpiece.

print of a scene from D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms (1919) with Lillian Gish as Lucy Burrows and Richard Barthelmess as the Chinaman Cheng Huan
print of a scene from D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms (1919) with Lillian Gish as Lucy Burrows and Richard Barthelmess as the Chinaman Cheng Huan

The entire passenger list of the Providence followed LILLIAN GISH to the boat deck, where photographers swarmed to snap her while she checked her trunks, which had already been checked, and said premature goodbyes to her sister Dorothy and Mary Pickford, who had come to see her off.

“She really is lovely looking” remarked one lady through her lorgnette. “And those orchids are just the right flowers for her,” “I like that gray suit with the fur collar,” commented her daughter. “And mother, I want a little black hat like hers, with a lace veil.”

Young Boswell drew Miss Gish away from the photographers to a quiet corner behind a bow ventilator.

Young Boswell: What are you doing in Italy?

Lillian Gish: We are going over to do “The White Sister,” by Marion Crawford.

Young Boswell: Oh, yes. I drove out to this villa in Sorrento. Beautiful view of the Bay of Naples from there.

Lillian Gish: You know he wrote perfect continuity. He built his stories up to the sort of climax which the scenario has to have. He used our technique. My only regret is that he isn’t alive to see his work produced. “The White Sister” is set in Naples and Rome, and we are going to do several scenes on the island of Capri. I hope it will be a good picture. It’s a tragedy like “Broken Blossoms.”

A belated photographer pushed Young Boswell aside, to run a few feet of film for the weeklies.

Young Boswell: Don’t you ever get tired of being photographed?

Lillian Gish: No, I really love it. Did you see “Hamlet” last night?

Young Boswell: I couldn’t get in.

Lillian Gish: Well, one of the critics called John Barrymore the best Hamlet of his generation. I can’t imagine a better Hamlet of any generation. It was an extraordinary performance. I hope it’s still running when I come back. I should like to see it again. I’m coming back in about four months.

And then the foghorn blew a deep blast. Lillian Gish clung to her sister Dorothy, and began to cry. Mary Pickford tried to comfort her.

"Parting of Ways" finally a high resolution - From left Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Dorothy Gish aboard cruise ship, on their way to Europe, 1920s
“Parting of Ways” finally a high resolution – From left Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Dorothy Gish aboard cruise ship, on their way to Europe, 1920s

Lillian Gish: I really ought to be happy going abroad. I was when I went over before, during the war.

She looked out into the mist settling over the harbor, veiling the passing tugs and ferries, and the gray water below. “I guess it must be a gloomy day,” she said. The whistle blew again. “Good bye Dorothy; good bye Mary. Good bye Young Boswell.”

When Young Boswell was wandering toward the nearest subway he thought of the stateroom she was to occupy – not large and luxurious and decorated like a florist’s, as one would expect – and of what she had said when asked to explain the pushed-off-in-a-corner woman. “All of us are like that. Struggling and defeated and trying to make good. We are all Saint Peters in our minds.”

“No,” thought Young Boswell as he dropped his nickel in the slot, “she isn’t a typical ‘movie’ actress. She is a very real person, a sincere artist.”

Lillian Gish – Returning from Rome (White Sister) after visiting the HH Pope (International Newsreel)
Lillian Gish – Returning from Rome (White Sister) after visiting the HH Pope (International Newsreel)

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LILLIAN GISH – Vanity Fair – December 1932 (George Jean Nathan)

Vanity Fair – December 1932


” Among the significant and potentially historic figures of our dramatic times, Lillian Gish occupies a particularly luminous place. The literati have burdened her with ethereal apostrophes: she has been likened to Duse, to Helen of Troy, to an angel, and to a “frightened chrysanthemum”. She has been in pictures ever since she was a fragile wisp of a girl, and she has remained the symbol of delicacy and passive tenderness ever since the days of Broken Blossoms, down the years through The White Sister and Orphans of the Storm to the present day. Now she is hack again on the legitimate stage, exquisitely moribund as Camille, her first play since her great success of two years ago, in Uncle Vanya. Miss Gish is being further canonized by a new biography, Life and Lillian Gish, by Albert Bigelow Paine, and by a revival of one of the first Gish opera extant, an ancient Biograph film, entitled A Northwoods Romance, which is being shown as a part of that acid revue. Americana

Miss Lillian Gish

(George Jean Nathan)

Lillian Gish - Vanity Fair December 1932
Lillian Gish – Vanity Fair December 1932

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The Lillian Gish Frock – (Photoplay July 1925)

Photoplay – July 1925

The Lillian Gish Frock

Dress Like a Star on an Extras Income

Lillian Gish Frock 1925 4

The original Parisian design of this lovely Lillian Gish frock cost a king’s ransom—perhaps one should say the week’s salary of a screen star. We first saw it in an exclusive Fifth Avenue shop at something over three hundred dollars, met it again just off the avenue for considerably less and were so impressed with its simplicity and charm that we obtained the exact duplicate of this copy Lillian Gish owns, for you, at $49.75

Lillian Gish Frock 1

This newest summer frock of the wistful Lillian’s is of heavy white crepe de chine with red embroidered dots. It may be had also in white with blue or black dots, black with white dots and tan with brown dots. It is one of those remarkable dresses whose lines become either the girl of 14 or the woman of 40—in sizes from misses’ 14 to 34 and 38 to 44

Lillian Gish Frock 2

The first in a Series of Stars Frocks selected for you through the Photoplay Shopping Service

Photoplay (July 1925) Lillian Gish Frock
Photoplay (July 1925) Lillian Gish Frock

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Erte Speaks His Mind (By Annette Buroughs – PHOTOPLAY February, 1926)

PHOTOPLAY February, 1926

Erte Speaks His Mind

And breaks a few cherished illusions

By Annette Buroughs

They seemed made for each other, the movies and Erte. One of Paris’ most original style dictators, creating frocks of startling beauty and luxury, Erte’ listened to the siren song of Hollywood, all agog to clothe gobs of beautiful stars. Thus he came to the City of the Angels and there—but read it yourself

IN the first place, he says our shoulders are like what you hang clothes on! Quite square and unshapely. Our long limbs he admires, for it is easy to swirl a hank of silk around long-legged ladies and make them look like sinuous sirens. But the beauty that is Hollywood’s— the legendary fairness of its damsels—he fails to find. Our film beauties, says he, are no more beautiful than any other women and offer no more inspiration. It has also been whispered that he said they were dumb —but it has not been verified! Romain de Tirtoff-Erte is the name of dreams. And Romain refers to dressing far more spicy than the salad. He is the Erte of Paris. The man who does the impossible with yards of slithering silks and stiff costly satins. Chiffons, too. he drapes on flat-bosomed mannequins—and hefty dowagers buy them. He makes bizarre follies that are copied by the Eollies Bergere. He made the centipede lash famous—the thicket-like lash that surrounds the glittering orbs of fashion magazine ladies.

Lillian Gish Renee Adoree Catherine Vidor Valetina Zimina (La Boheme)
Lillian Gish Renee Adoree Catherine Vidor Valetina Zimina (La Boheme)

Then he came to Hollywood to put Art in motion pictures. But it seems that Art wouldn’t stay in its proper niche and kept popping out for air and going on excursions. Which disgusted him. Too, what could an artist do with a lady—prettily plump — who refused to keep her corsets on while wearing a dress all ruffles and frills? And when young ladies with prominent shoulder blades “angel wings” the kids called them —would insist upon wearing decollete frocks? And whoever heard of a young miss—poor but of impeccable character — wearing finest silk from cuticle out? And the tragedy of designing four separate series of sets and costumes for a motion picture, and then to have the fifth draft of the story place all the action in the prop room!

(LA BOHEME) de King Vidor 1926 USA avec John Gilbert et Lillian Gish retrouvaille, caleche, diligence, cocher, chevaux d'apres le roman de Henri Murger PMRCJN
(LA BOHEME) de King Vidor 1926 USA avec John Gilbert et Lillian Gish d’apres le roman de Henri Murger

It is to weep. Small wonder, then, from the sounds of strife emanating from his studio, that we pictured Erte as a peppery and volcanic French man with a goatee and grasshopper motions, who probably waved tape – line and shears in expostulatory manner. A cartoon Frenchman with comic opera trimmings. Instead, he is a mild-mannered man with smooth cropped black hair and a gently tilted nose faintly reminiscent of a sur prised rabbit. He wears a pearl bracelet about one wrist. His constant companion is a Prince who has the enviable ability of bowing gracefully from the waist. Renee Adoree was the first film miss who was trotted out for comment. Renee is a native of la belle France and Erte has nothing but admiration for her art but that adorable little Melisande of “The Big Parade” received a gentle rap about her rounded curves.

Renee Adoree - La Boheme - Musette
Renee Adoree – La Boheme – Musette

For her part as Musette in “La Boheme, ” Erte designed a gorgeous frock of huge puffed sleeves, voluminous skirts ami wasp-like bodice. (Incidentally, you fashion devotees, Erte is an arch enemy of that confining mode. It destroys the grace of line, he says, and will never be reinstated in the style world.)

Renee Adoree and Lillian Gish in La Boheme (Musette and Mimi)
Renee Adoree and Lillian Gish in La Boheme (Musette and Mimi)

” The first day she looked exquisite—like a doll. But on the second day she insisted that she could not wear corsets and eat —and eat she must, so off came her corsets. She looked like a balloon!” Two sensitive hands made an airy outline of her appearance. But to say a lady looks like a balloon! It simply isn’t done in Hollywood, you know. Not even at ‘”cat parties.”

Renee Adoree and John Gilbert - La Boheme - Musette and Rodophe
Renee Adoree and John Gilbert – La Boheme – Musette and Rodophe
Lillian Gish as Mimi in La Boheme
Lillian Gish as Mimi in La Boheme

And then there was Lillian Gish.

“I designed a pretty costume for her as Mimi in ‘La Boheme.’ Mimi is a poor girl whose poverty is shown in her clothes. Of inexpensive materials I fashioned the dress—of wools and cottons.

” ‘ But no!’ says Miss Gish, ‘I do not wear harsh fabrics next to my skin. They must be of sheerest silk.’

“Silks! Can you imagine silks for a girl who lives simply and whose marriage dowry is a mere tritle!

“So I told Miss Gish she may have the designs—is very welcome to them—but she is never to enter my studio door again. Let her make the costumes herself!”

CONSTANCE BENNETT, the idol of a million flappers as she cavorts upon the screen, is not perfect, either, in Erte’s eyes. Slender Connie needs a milk diet to hide the angles that are so hard to mask when designing gowns for her. Her slim, girlish shoulders were not intended for evening frocks that daringly reveal numerous vertebrae and even Erte couldn’t cover her naughty shoulder bones that provokingly thrust themselves out like twin blades. And, oh dear! Nothing seems quite right with our picture ladies. Aileen Pringle — artists have raved over her—has a beautiful face, but her body is dreadfully hard to clothe in lines of smooth symmetry. However, a dazzling blonde won Erte’s approval, and also a vivid brunette. Claire Windsor and Carmel Myers he mentioned with delight. Carmel, particularly, was a joy to gown, because she knew how to wear her clothes. Her movements are slow and undulating — not short and jerky. She moves with a grace that adds distinction to any frock. No useless motions of the hands—Erte loathes the technique that teaches of fluttering ringers.

Norma Shearer C19
Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer drew a compliment for her sleek coiffure, although it had not been his privilege to create a gown for her. “Miss Shearer should wear her hair drawn smoothly back from her face. It gives her a distinguished air. Fluffy hair is for faces not so beautiful.” Another thing that puzzles Erte, born of France — “Alas, my friends in Paris — they send me clippings of stories that have been published in French journals. One of the stories says, ‘Erte advocates shaving the brows from the face and using patent leather eyebrows!’ Imagine! ” My friends say, ‘ Can this be our Erte? He must have gone quite mad in Hollywood—poor Erte! Or perhaps some impostor has taken his name and fame!’ And at the studio the officials say this is publicity—this eyebrow thing. I have no regard for publicity.”

So Erte has packed his drawing book, pencils, eraser and paints and is hieing himself back to Paris, where Art is Art and the feminine form is divine. He does say one thing for Hollywood, tho—harken ye, Chamber of Commerce!

Erte says: “The climate—I love it’ It is glorious!”

La Boheme full cast and crew
La Boheme full cast and crew

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WITHIN THE GATES, Pretentious rubbish, or A very Christian Play …

  • FLETCHER, Bramwell – Supporter actor in the Play of the Week, “WITHIN THE GATES”.
  • GISH, Lillian – Leading actress of the Play of the Week, “WITHIN THE GATES”.
  • KELLEY, Harry – Leading actor of the Play of the Week, “WITHIN THE GATES”.
  • MORRIS, Mary – Supporting actress of the Play of the Week, “WITHIN THE GATES”.
  • O’CASEY, Sean – Irish Playwright of the Play of the Week, “WITHIN THE GATES”.


Within The Gates (Stuart Oderman)

Back on The Boards

Sean O’Casey’s writing was a blend of “downright humor and unrestrained horror.” O’Casey, not a devotee of “contrived theatricality’s” or the formal techniques of dramaturgy, believed in scenes from the streets and their ability to be shown on the stage via good observation. Within the Gates, set in London’s Hyde Park, was a combination of realism and abstraction. Lillian played the role of a nameless character described as “Young Whore.” It would cause problems in the minds of some New York theatregoers when they read the names of the characters in their Play bill. Within the Gates did not come to New York without its pre-opening night gossip and raised eyebrows.


Photo: Lillian Gish’s costume sketch, designed for Within The Gates

The original London production had lasted one week. The British reviews called Within the Gates “anti-moral and antiChristian, with cheap irony for making the Bishop and father of the woman” (Lillian’s character). Within the Gates was dismissed as “pretentious rubbish,” and “O’Casey’s charade.” In its defense, Within the Gates was also called a very Christian play, as it attacked celibacy in the ministry, which did not exist for the first three centuries. What O’Casey was doing was “attacking a church that was unable to relate to natural, sexual energies.” Within the Gates marked a radical departure from the realism of O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, which concerned itself with the uprising during Easter Week 1916 and its effect on the residents living in the tenements of Dublin. Within the Gates centered on people from the city streets, but the setting of the play was the Hyde Park section of London. The characters served as a representation, a microcosm of society: a Dreamer representing the idealists, a Bishop who is confused by some of the church’s teachings, and a Young Whore who pleads for the more vulnerable. By themselves and in groups they gravitate to the park to express themselves. There are debates and discussions about the existence or non -existence of God, and a yearning for fulfillment in religion. It all comes to an end when the Young Whore dies in her father’s (the Bishop’s) arms. O’Casey, who came to New York for the rehearsals and stayed at the Royalton Hotel (where George Jean Nathan lived in two dingy, book-cluttered, rarely cleaned rooms), often sought shelter from questions about the play in Lillian Gish’s dressing room. Often he would answer that he didn’t know what to say. He had no answer about the “plot” of the “story” of the play. The play Within the Gates, he would say, “simply is.”


While Lillian and O’Casey acknowledged that the play would not have been produced in New York if not for the efforts of George Jean Nathan, Lillian would also add that George was not the reason she was cast in the play. She had landed the part herself.


Within the Gates opened at New York’s National Theatre on October 22, 1934. It was received with respect by a divided press,32 but a press that was generally kinder and more tolerant than the original London reviewers. Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times, perhaps in anticipation of a public who might attack the play on grounds without ever having seen it, opened his review by announcing his intention in the first sentence: “Let us face this thing boldly. Sean O’Casey has written a great play.”


No mention was made of the play’s problems since its inception, or the controversy and discussions that had taken place in London prior to the New York production starring Lillian. Within the Gates … [is] a testament to Mr. O’Caseys abiding faith in life. Nothing so grand has risen in our impoverished theatre since this reporter first began writing of plays …. This is a great play. There is iron in its bones and blood in its veins and lustre in its flesh, and its feet rest on the good brown earth. In fact it is a humbling job to write about a dynamic drama like Within the Gates.


Lillian came in for special praise: As the tortured young woman, Lillian Gish give the performance instinct with the spirit of the drama. Never did an actress play a part with more sincerity or deeper comprehension.

It was a dream review for the actress Lillian Gish and the playwright Sean O’Casey. Yet the prospects of a successful touring production were bleak. Early reactions centering on the handling of the relationship between the Bishop and the Young Whore, and the alleged anti-Catholic bias, made the likelihood of audience acceptance in less cosmopolitan cities very remote. That the play was banned in Boston was a fait accompli, and perhaps a portent of things to come. Recalled Lillian about the Boston mayor’s action: Theatre people used to say when a play was banned in Boston before it came to New York it meant that producers had a possible hit on their hands because the newspapers would give it free publicity, and some nontheatregoers might want to see it out of curiosity.

Lillian Gish in Within The Gates

To ban a play in Boston after it had been in New York for over 100 performances sometimes had an adverse effect. Plays on the road sometimes could recoup the losses in New York. In the case of Within the Gates, it might not attract a Boston audience willing to go into the suburbs. We didn’t want to lose money. Strange Interlude was banned, but it found an audience because of its notoriety. It was different. It was a novelty because of the dinner hour intermission. Within the Gates had a conventional length, but it had other problems because of the portrayal of the Bishop. If any member of the clergy were depicted as anything but sacrosanct and inviolable, there were grounds for demonstrations and protests. The Bishop in Within the Gates fathered an illegitimate child.


American literature certainly wasn’t without its book-banning and even book-burning in some areas the United States. Hawthorne’s [The] Scarlet Letter had it problems. Harold Frederic’s The Damnation of Theron Ware [1896] was considered immoral. Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry was denounced from the pulpits. Those ministers and preachers were Protestant! The Bishop in O’Casey’s Within the Gates was an Irish Catholic! Boston had a significant Irish Catholic population and Within the Gates was a very Catholic play. Attacking or questioning or challenging the legitimacy or validity of the policies within the Catholic Church wasn’t permitted or even tolerated. The Church was infallible. That O’Casey would even hint or suggest that anything in the Church was immoral was out of the question. Did O’Casey think this kind of questioning would be tolerated in the United States? Had anybody in Boston known Sean O’Casey wasn’t a Catholic, but and Irish Protestant and a Communist … ? The playwright’s wife, Eileen O’Casey, believed the play might have been accepted in Boston if the Mayor had seen the Bishop the was Sean O’Casey had created him: a symbol, and part of the fantasy of the play. Within the Gates, after a Philadelphia engagement, returned to New York for an additional 40 performances, making a total run 141 performances. Its success was more artistic than commercial.

Chapter – Back on The Boards

Lillian Gish, A Life on Stage and Screen – By Stuart Oderman

Lillian Gish in Within The Gates

Within The Gates (Charles Affron)

Before rehearsals of The Joyous Season began, George Jean Nathan had asked Lillian to read Sean O’Casey’s Within the Gates. O’Casey’s New York champion, Nathan was actively involved in the play’s production. Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars, which had established O’Casey’s reputation in New York in the 1920s, had nevertheless not won him a wide audience. A failure in its London engagement, the expressionistic and symbolic Within the Gates would have had even less chance of commercial success had it not become something of a scandal. The principal female character is known only as The Young Whore. Down on her luck, dying of a heart ailment, she is the illegitimate daughter of the Bishop, who struggles with the Dreamer for possession of her soul. As O’Casey describes her, “You have read a little, but not enough; you have thought a little, but not enough; you are deficient in self-assurance, and are too generous and sensitive to be a clever whore, and your heart is not in the business.” The New York papers had trouble even mentioning “The Young Whore.” Some called her “harlot.” The Herald Tribune removed the character’s name from the cast but left the star’s name in first position, billing it “with Miss Lillian Gish as the leading player.” The New York American referred to her as “A Young Girl Who Has Gone Astray.”

Lillian Gish in Within The Gates

A striking photograph by Edward Steichen shows Lillian in character, sprawled on the ground, her stockings ripped, her hair disheveled, her hat awry, looking anxiously over her shoulder. But, lest her public forget her true nature, Lillian interrupted her stint as The Young Whore by making a guest appearance, pantomiming The Queen of Heaven in a holiday staging of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Within the Gates opened on October 22, 1934, and its run of one hundred performances far exceeded that of any other O’Casey play in New York. The success was such that a tour was planned, from Philadelphia to Chicago, Toronto, and Boston. The play received an enormous boost in publicity when it was banned in Boston and Toronto. Bostonians wishing to see the play in New York could profit from a special weekend trip that included train fare, hotel accommodations, and an orchestra seat. Forty-four of them, including the Boston critics, took advantage of the deal. “Mr. Melvin of the Transcript, thought it ‘a very intersting play.’ Mr. Gaffney of the Advertiser, saw ‘nothing irreligious or immoral about it.’ Miss Hughes, of the Herald, called it ‘very different and extremely interesting.’ Mr. Cook, of the Harvard Dramatic Club, was ‘very much moved by it.’ ” On the strength of the notoriety, after an abbreviated tour, Within the Gates returned to New York for forty additional performances.

Lillian Gish in Within The Gates

Even those reviewers critical of O’Casey’s play were enthusiastic about its star. She finally converted her nemesis Richard Lockridge. “The Lillian Gish of the old, over-praised days would have had not the faintest idea how to begin; the playing of today’s Miss Gish is the one certain satisfaction of the play.” John Mason Brown asserted that she brought “a new strength—yes, a new and much deeper voice—to a part that abounds in difficulties.” Bosley Crowther rhapsodized: “Let us face this thing boldly, Sean O’Casey has written a great play in Within the Gates. … As the tortured young woman, Lillian Gish gives a performance instinct with the spirit of the drama. Never did an actress play a part with more sincerity or deeper comprehension.” The direction of Within the Gates was entrusted to actor Melvyn Douglas, who would, soon thereafter resume his career in Hollywood (he had already costarred with Garbo and would again in her last two movies), where he became a popular leading man, in addition to being a superb actor.

Lillian Gish in Within The Gates

Douglas clashed with Nathan over the staging of Within the Gates. “In retrospect Nathan probably was concerned about striking a safe, commercial note, a consideration I later concluded was rarely far from his consciousness.” Douglas’s only “problem with Miss Gish was trying to get her to be heard beyond the second row. The two of us had many talks about it, and I kept sitting farther and farther back in the auditorium saying, T can’t hear you, Miss Gish. I can’t hear you/ On opening night she was suddenly as clear as a bell and could easily be heard at the back of the house. She fully deserved her excellent notices.” Within the Gates marked the beginning of Lillian’s long friendship with Sean O’Casey. When she met O’Casey during rehearsals, on November 18, 1934, she thought him “a god-like man.” Their lively correspondence lasted until the playwright’s death in 1964.

Lillian Gish – Her Legend, Her Life (By Charles Affron)

Lillian Gish in Within The Gates

Within The Gates (Lillian Gish)

George Jean Nathan considered Sean O’Casey and Eugene O’Neill the greatest playwrights in the world. George wrote a great deal about O’Casey and was disappointed when his play Within the Gates closed after a week’s run in London. But he helped to bring the play over to the United States. I was grateful to George for doing this, although he was not responsible for my getting the role of the Young Whore in the production. O’Casey came to this country for the rehearsals. During the first few months of production, he spent most of his time in my dressing room. “I can’t stay out there,” he would say, gesturing toward the lobby, his eyes twinkling behind their heavy glasses. “They keep asking me what my play is about, and I don’t know what to tell them.”


George arranged for him to stay at the Royalton Hotel, his own headquarters. O’Casey brought so few possessions—a few shirts, socks, and underwear—that he would put one sock in one drawer and its partner in another drawer. He seemed to own only the brown suit and cap that he wore. He spoke with an Irish lilt, and it was a joy to listen to the poetry in his speech. He was fascinated by electric gadgets, amazed by the different ways in which one could switch on a light—push, pull, twist, turn. He would go about, trying them all like a child. His poetic turn of mind evidently appealed to our audiences, for the play ran in New York for six months. When we left to go on tour, word came to us in Philadelphia that the play had been banned in Boston.

A short time later O’Casey wrote me:

The last performance must have been a strange experience and I should have given a lot to be there, though not so much as I should have given to be present when the ban was declared in Boston. I got a whole pile of correspondence about it, and a lot of press-cuttings, but these couldn’t give the thrill I’d have got from standing and hitting out in the center of the fight. Though the ban caused some excitement and a lot of talk, I should have preferred the tour and it is a pity that the Jesuits of Boston were able to stop it.

He added:

Let me thank you, Lillian, for a grand and a great performance; for your gentle patience throughout the rehearsals, and for the grand way you dived into the long and strenuous part of “The Young Whore.”

The beautifully bound copy of Within the Gates that rests in my library has this inscription:

In Remembrance of Things Past, of this play’s production and performance When we all, at least, battled together for the return of some of the great things that belong to Drama A bad thing well done can never feel success; A good thing well done can never feel failure.

With love,

Sean O’Casey

(Lillian Gish – The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me)

The Play of The Week - Within The Gates
The Play of The Week – Within The Gates

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Lillian Gish’s Summer Frocks – Photoplay June 1922

Photoplay Magazine June 1922

Lillian Gish’s Summer Frocks Designed by Le Bon Ton with Patterns for You

You May Have One of these Patterns!

MISS LILLIAN GISH is as individual in her ideals and ideas of dress as she is in her acting. Celebrated for her tragic portrayals on the screen, she is equally famous for her quaint costumes, her quiet tastes, in real life.Fashion 1922 3


Photoplay and Le Bon Ton have never presented more charming frocks than those on these pages. On her dressing table Lillian Gish has a powder box of gold, with blue and pearl shines in an intricate design. It is an importation front France An exquisite lace handkerchief, presented to the star by lite Brazilian consul general and his wife, is here shown.


Fashion 1922 1




Miss Gish’s favorite collar and cuff set is of ruffled voile. The collar has a black ribbon tie. Just the thing for a dark dress or suit.






Fashion 1922 2


Individuality in Dress

As told to Carolyn Van Wyck By LILLIAN GISH


Fashion 1922 4DRESS is largely a matter of instinct. Good taste may of course be acquired. But the true feminine intuition- for what is most becoming must be born in one. If you are fortunate enough to possess this instinct, you need never worry about being well dressed. On the other hand, you may with careful study, learn what is best for you to wear. The woman without good taste might buy the most expensive gowns from the most exclusive house, and still be dowdy. The woman with the flair for clothes looks well in a gingham gown.

Fashion 1922 5

Simplicity—first, last, and always. And imagination.

You don’t like to pass, on the street, five women with costumes exactly like yours. You don’t have to. You may not be able to afford importations but you can always, add to a dress or a suit your personal touch. I don’t get as much time as I’d like for shopping. I am not clothes-crazy. I love pretty things; but you may remember that I seldom get a chance to wear them on the screen. And I am “on the screen” almost two-thirds of my life ! In “Broken Blossoms” I was a child of the London slums. In “Way Down East,” I was a poor little country girl, although I did have several charming dresses in that picture. In “Orphans of the Storm” I play a girl of the French Revolution.

Fashion 1922 6

So I do not select my dresses with their film appearances in view. My wardrobe is my own. It belongs, except as far as Photoplay readers are concerned, to me and not to the world. Consequently, all my frocks represent my own taste. My clothes have been called “quaint” and “old-fashioned,” often. Perhaps this is largely because I so rarely play modern girls in pictures, and that I may, unconsciously, have followed this type of thing in selecting my own dresses. It is true, I suppose, that I do go in for the more conservative styles ; that I favor the longer skirts, the more graceful sleeves.

Fashion 1922 7

The more modest and quiet a costume is, the better I like it. To be well dressed one should be conspicuous only by one’s simplicity. It’s not the size of your wardrobe, but the things in it, that counts. I grow attached to the things I own. One of the nicest dresses I ever had is four years old. I have it still. I never wear it now, of course, but it’s an evening dress, and the only dance I have attended in recent years is associated with it. It is—again! — quaint ; it looks like a gown grandmother would have worn, except for a few decidedly twentieth-century touches. I remember the Editor of Photoplay was present that evening. He came directly over to me. “I like that dress!” he said. Editorial commendation! I like to have every frock I own absolutely individual. I think every woman should. And it isn’t impossible at all. All it requires is a little planning. It is so very easy to take the first frock you come to in a shop, if it pleases you at all. I don’t believe that’s the way to do it. So many frocks are just—frocks; things to wear. Consequently they never seem to belong. They are not part of you. They should be so distinctive that when people see them they exclaim, “That dress belongs to you!” .

Fashion 1922 8

Expensive things are not necessarily good. I think it idiotic to dash into a shop, buy something, and dash out again, no matter how much money you may have to spend. Mary Pickford, one of the world’s wealthiest young women, exercises the same care and discrimination as you or I would do or should do.

Fashion 1922 9

She doesn’t believe in the careless purchasing of priceless dresses or furs or hats. So don’t feel rebellious if you haven’t all the money in the world to spend on clothes. Select your style, find out what you should wear. Discover whether the long, straight lines, or the fluffy silhouette is more becoming to you. Then dress to your idea of how you would like to look; don’t imitate someone else.

I think the Photoplay Le Bon Ton pattern idea is a splendid one, and that every girl and woman should take advantage of it. These frocks combine good taste and style and you will, I am sure, want to make at least one of them for yourself.

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The Lily and The Rose – Reviewed by Neil G. Caward (Motography 1915)

MOTOGRAPHY November 20, 1915.

Some Current Releases Reviewed

The Current Triangle Bill

This Week’s Offerings From Ince and Griffith Studios

Reviewed by Neil G. Caward

Over at the Studebaker theater this week Manager Knill is offering his patrons a program of Triangle films that, as a whole, surpasses any week’s bill up to date. It includes “Aloha Oe” from the Ince studios, “The Lily and the Rose” from the Griffith forces and two Keystone side splitters entitled “A Janitor’s Wife’s Temptation” and “The Village Scandal.” The laughs begin at about the second sub-title of “A Janitor’s Wife’s Temptation” and come thick and fast from then on. Fred Mace as the janitor of an apartment house has a role that’s just to his liking, and the things he does and the way he does them beggar description. Marta Golden as the janitor’s wife has troubles of her own, and Harry Gribbon, as the artist who lives on the floor above, proves himself a clever dodger of both his landlord and his bills. The final scenes in the restaurant, when Mace is bouncing about like a rubber ball in the fountain, are guaranteed to cure the worst grouch that ever attacked a man. Del Henderson is responsible for the production.

The Lily and The Rose (1915) - Lillian Gish
The Lily and The Rose (1915) – Lillian Gish

The Lily and The Rose – Reviewed by Neil G. Caward

Lillian Gish and Rozsika Dolly are the featured personages in “The Lily and the Rose” and rightfully so, for it is about them that the story centers. Paul Powell is given credit for the direction of the piece and the story is most carefully developed from the opening scene up to the tragic climax which brings it to an end. Mary Randolph is a most innocent, and, as the boy who loves her says, “adorable” Lily, as interpreted by Lillian Gish, and one can scarcely blame Jack Van Norman, played in a dignified fashion by Wilfred Lucas, for falling in love with her.

The Lily and The Rose (1915) - Lillian Gish
The Lily and The Rose (1915) – Lillian Gish

That the Lily ever became so sophisticated as she finally grows to be seems wonderful when you behold Miss Letty Carrington and Miss Molly Carrington, her maiden aunts, who were responsible for her bringing up. Loyola O’Connor and Cora Drew each have a chance for some wonderful character “bits” in these two roles and Elmer Clifton is equally convincing as Allison Edwards, a bookworm who lives next door to the Lily. To Rozsika Dolly, recruited from the musical comedy stage, falls the interpretation of the Rose, and she plays it masterfully.

The Lily and The Rose (1915) - Lillian Gish
The Lily and The Rose (1915) – Lillian Gish

In the wonderfully tinted scenes at the seashore, where she dances on the beach for Jack, Miss Dolly was particularly good, and, while proving her ability to dance, in the theater scenes, she demonstrated also that she can get over an emotional scene by the way she acted upon discovering Jack’s suicide. Mary Randolph, raised from childhood by two maiden aunts, and loved by Allison Edwards, who lives next door, one day meets and is wooed by Jack Van Norman from the city. She later becomes his wife, only to learn that, in secret, he is paying attention to the Rose, a dancer in musical comedy. Leaving him, Mary returns to the home of her childhood, where a child is soon afterwards born to her. Jack goes to Rose, but later, in his absence from the city, the dancer entertains other men and is discovered. Jack ends his misery in suicide, and Mary, months later, finds happiness at last with Allison Edwards, who is still faithful. (Neil G. Caward – 1915)

The Lily and The Rose (1915) - Lillian Gish
The Lily and The Rose (1915) – Lillian Gish

Directed by Paul Powell

Writing Credits (in alphabetical order) D.W. Griffith…(story) (as Granville Warwick)

Cast (in credits order)

Lillian Gish Mary Randolph Wilfred Lucas Jack Van Norman Rosie Dolly Rose (as Rozsika Dolly) Loyola O’Connor Letty Carrington Cora Drew Molly Carrington Elmer Clifton Allison Edwards Mary Alden Mrs. Fairfax William Hinckley Ted Lamb Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Alberta Lee Undetermined role (uncredited) Frank Mills Undetermined role (uncredited) Starring: (Dorothy and Lillian Gish by Lillian Gish) – Lillian Gish – Mary Alden – Wilfred Lucas – Rozsika Dolly

The Lily and The Rose (1915) - Lillian Gish
The Lily and The Rose (1915) – Lillian Gish
Motography 1915 - The Lily and The Rose
Motography 1915 – The Lily and The Rose

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We’re Surprised, Lillian! – MOTOGRAPHY August 19, 1916.

Diane of The Follies - Lillian Gish
Diane of The Follies – Lillian Gish

MOTOGRAPHY August 19, 1916.

We’re Surprised, Lillian!

Lillian Gish has adopted a course of training as strenuous as a professional pugilist in order to get into the best possible condition for her “rough house” work in the Triangle-Fine Arts production. “Diane of the Follies.”

Diane of The Follies still - D444

Miss Gish has several free-for-all fights in the picture, including one at her husband’s house and another on the stage of the opera house in which several chorus girls mix in.

Diane of The Follies - Lillian Gish
Diane of The Follies – Lillian Gish

In the theater scene one of the chorus girls emerged with a black eye as the result of coming in too close contact with demure Miss Gish. Miss Gish’s portrayal of the temperamental actress in “Diane of the Follies’ is expected to make other celebrated temperamental ladies of the screen look to their laurels to preserve their reputations as “Champion Temperamentalists of the World.”

W. C. Cabanne directed the production.

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