Chicago Tribune Illustrated Notes (Lillian Gish) – articles placed in chronological order
Chicago Tribune – Sunday, January 27 1927 – Page 94
Lillian Gish is Annie Laurie
Lillian Gish is the demure damsel before you, and she looks like this in “Annie Laurie,” in which picture she has the role of the Scottish Joan of Arc.
Lillian Gish literally is Annie Laurie. Those who imagined her as a myth or legend will be amazed at the actual woman; 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 song of the ancient bard. “Annie Laurie” is a tremendous drama of history. It deals with the gigantic ferment and struggle in Scotland that culminated in the Glencoe Massacre.
It is all laid on actual fact. Miss Gish, as the historic daughter of Sir Robert Laurie, chief of Clan Campbell, approaches the genius of Bernhardt, but always coupled with her own ethereal charm, in the mighty drama, in which she enacts the Scottish Joan of Arc. Norman Kerry plays the hero as a chieftain of the enemy clan of MacDonald. The great battle scenes, with hordes of six foot wanders in tartans and plaids, battling with shield and claymore—the majesty of the ancient Scotch castles these all add glamor. But the charm of Lillian Gish pervades it all.
Annie Laurie – Photo Gallery
Admin note: Lillian, however, was riding on the top wave. An English company offered her the lead in “The Constant Nymph”; a great German company offered the part of Juliet: “Cannot tell you how delighted we should be, if the remotest possibility”; de la Falaise offered her the part of Joan of Arc, in a picture for which Pierre Champion, the great French authority on Joan, had prepared the scenario. To the last named, she replied that she had long been considering the part of Joan, and put the matter aside with real regret. And many wanted to write of her. Whatever she did, or was about to do, was news. A magazine, Liberty, sent a gifted young man, Sidney Sutherland, all the way to the Coast to see her. He had expected to do one, possibly two, articles, but his editors asked for more, and under the general title of “Lillian the Incomparable” continued his chapters —”reels” as he not inaptly termed them—through nine weekly instalments! On any excuse, and with no excuse at all, other than what it presented, and stood for, periodicals carried her picture. Vanity Fair published a full front-page portrait, by Steichen, nominating her “The First Lady of the Screen.”
Chicago Tribune – October, Sunday 13, 1929 – Part 7, Page 58
Lillian Gish Ready to start on a Talkie
Chooses “The Swan” as Her First Venture
By Rosalind Shaffer (Chicago Tribune Press Service)
Hollywood Cal. – [Special Correspondence] – Lillian Gish is about to begin rehearsals on her first talking picture “The Swan,” from the play by Ferenc Molnar. Looking extremely well after her prolonged vacation occasioned by the giving up plans to make “The Miracle Woman,” by Reinhardt, some months ago, Miss Gish is most interested with the idea of doing a talkie.
“I really have done about everything I could for silent pictures,” she said. “I have made all the faces I know; I even went to insane asylums to try to get a few new ones. It’s rather nice to be going to make a new sort of thing.”
Voice Work Under Maurel
A couple of years ago, Lillian Gish had been thinking of doing stage work and had had some excellent voice training under the tutelage of Victor Maurel, now dead, who lived in New York at the time Miss Gish knew him.
Maurel was an opera singer, so important in his day that the prologue for “Pagliacci,” by Leoncavallo, was written especially for him to sing to induce him to play the role in its original presentation. He had argued that the part was too light in tone and suggested the prologue to give it weight.
Maurel was a well known artist in his later years and it was as such that Miss Gish went to him to get lessons in his hobby. He only asked as pay that she pose for him. Then he became interested in her dramatic work and daily he took scenes from the then current “Way Down East” of Miss Gish and tried to gain the same emotional effect in an empty room with her voice that she had gotten on the screen with her acting.
Thus, while Miss Gish has never had a voice test, she feels not unprepared for her talking work in “The Swan.” The role is a radical departure from the fluttery parts that first brought her to popularity with D.W. Griffith as her director.
While Miss Gish keeps her long hair, she has been as radical as Mary Pickford in changing her parts for films, for in “The Swan” she plays a modern lightly sophisticated role. In the cast will be Conrad Nagel, Rod LaRocque and Marie Dressler.
The Swan aka “One Romantic Night” – Photo Gallery
Chicago Tribune – Saturday, May 31, 1919 – Page 14
Again Mr. Griffith Shows ‘Em How It Should Be Done
Produced and directed by D.W. Griffith
Presented at the Illinois
- The Girl …………………….…..…. Lillian Gish
- “Battling” Burrows ………….. Donald Crisp
- The Chinaman …….. Richard Barthelmess
- Evil Eye …………………….…….. Edward Peil
- A prize fighter ……….…….. Norman Selby
- The Spying One …..……. George Beranger
By Mae Tinee
The D.W. Griffith repertory season started auspiciously last night at the Illinois with “Broken Blossoms,” adapted from the story by Thomas Burke.
At the risk of repeating one’s self, it is still necessary to say that Mr. Griffith is in a class all by himself. He has a number of worthy followers in the directorial line who put out excellent pictures – so good you wonder if, perhaps the master has not rivals. The answer comes when with a production like “Broken Blossoms” the wizard turns himself loose and shows what he really can do.
Realizing the psychological effect of surroundings on the plastic mind, the Illinois theater has been touched by a discerning wand and transformed into a bower of flowers and rosy lights. Beautiful houris in the shimmering raiment of the orient precede you to your seat and hand you your quaint program. Incense and music combine to lure you into harmony with the picture. Of which, somebody remarked upon hearing the presentation:
“I wonder if that story can be put upon the screen? It’s a dangerous theme – the love of a yellow man for a white girl – and would have to be treated with the same exquisite delicacy and sureness of touch the author used in order to make the picture in any way possible.”
Well, it could not have been more beautifully handled. Richard Barthelmess as the lonely Chinese lad who comes to London to convert the Anglo-Saxons to the theories of the gentle Buddha, and there meets disillusionment, love and death, gives a marvelous presentation.
Surely this stolid, intense, sensitive, passionate, disappointed, sad-eyed watchful oriental could never have played in the comedies! Yet it was only last week you saw him lending merriment to a Dorothy Gish picture. He gave me the surprise of my young life, I’ll admit. I didn’t think he had it in him.
And Lillian Gish. It has been that now you like her and now you don’t. This time, however, there can be no question about her. She is a poor little cockney, the ward of a prize fighter whom she calls “Daddy.” It is upon this helpless waif that daddy vents the rage of his black moments – using the rawhide with skill born of long practice. One of these beatings brings her to the Chinaman’s door step, where she falls, spent with pain.
Hunger, agony, terror, helplessness, timid gratitude to the first person who has ever been kind to her – the Chinese boy – are all portrayed by Miss Gish with startling realism. You are sick with pity for her. You admit it – and that shows how wonderful she is.
As to Donald Crisp as the prize fighter, you must hand him a medal for work well done. And then you’d like to forget him. The minor parts are all excellently played.
The picture has a rather novel color scheme – Chinese blue. Awfully effective. It is characterized by the artistic settings, splendid photography and keen attention to detail that always mark a Griffith production.
My one and only criticism would be that at the start the action is too slow. It takes you a long while to get into the story.
“Broken Blossoms” is a credit to its maker.
Chicago Tribune – Monday, February 28, 1916 – Page 14
Triangle Opens at the Colonial
Daphne And The Pirate
Fine Arts – Triangle
Directed by W.C. Cabanne
Presented at the Colonial
- Daphne La Tour ……………………. Lillian Gish
- Philip de Mornay ……………….. Elliott Dexter
- Jamie D’Arcy ………………………. Walter Long
- Prince Henri ………………..……. Howard Gaye
- Franchette ………………….…….. Lucille Young
- Francois La Tour ….…… Richard Cummings
- Duc de Mornay ………….…..…. Jack Cosgrave
By Kitty Kelly
Triangle tried it again, on an invitation houseful on Saturday night and the regular public yesterday. In spite of Mr. S. L. Rothapfel, it is not yet a perfect accomplishment, though it is much better. We have heard much of “how different this is going to be,” but it appears as if somebody has underestimated the sophistication of us inhabitants of these far frontiers, for truth to tell, there was no such startle as, for instance, when first we saw that charming Italian garden stage setting with which E. Q. Cordner introduced us to distinctive photoplay presentation during the Strand’s tenure of Orchestra hall – a setting which to our mind has not yet been surpassed in this town.
At the Colonial the curtain rises on a lovely vista of blueish green land and water glimpsed through a flower entwined trellis, but there is a festive light machine somewhere which takes away the fairy feeling, for, like the barking dog, the stage setting is more effective in the dark. The light reveals it as an ordinary landscape backdrop, pasteboard shrubbery set about, artificial balusters and trellis twined over with vivid artificial flowers, and the interminable marble pillars wherein the imitativeness of the marble is matter beyond dispute, all of it enshrining the orchestra. The setting receives attention because it we have with us always, with the prospects of forever – limited by contract machinations – gazing at the cloying Cupids fluttering about the frame. The program comes and goes. At present it is over long, with so much of scenic, topic, and educational dispensation, plus several musical numbers that it approximates in length the old double header bill at the Studebaker that used to make our heads swim.