"True Heart Susie", 1919, is one of Griffith's better films; it treads familiar territory, but is better constructed and developed narratively and technically. Its real genius, however, is the acting, which makes this one especially sentimentally affecting.
Watch "True Heart Susie" to see its stars shine. The story is simple, but it will capture your attention immediately and give you a chance to see yet another classic silent film with heart.
Set in small rural town in America, it is about a simple and devoted young woman "True Heart Susie" (Lillian Gish, in what is perhaps her finest performance) who makes painful sacrifices to promote her next door neighbor and ignorant love William Jenkins (Robert Harron) to college. This is D.W. Griffith at his peak. There isn't a scene in the this marvellously lyrical film that never attains emotional beauty and resonance.
Lillian Gish plays the shy, plain and simple girl who loves him. In her scenes with Harron, they had a chemistry which fills the screen. She starts out as plain girl, but about half way through the film she starts to look pretty. It is a gradual transformation and she pulls it off remarkably well, gradually accenting her better features and holding her body more gracefully. She also seems to grow as a person in the film. She starts out as an awkward child living in a fantasy world where she imagines that she is loved more than she actually is.
As the film progresses, she learns to face reality, to learn how to look pretty and act gracefully without changing who she is. None of this is accomplished in any great dramatic way. It is accomplished the way these things are often done in real life, quietly, by small incidents which are important to the person but not that important to anyone else. But when these incidents occur, you see a slight physical change on the surface, but somehow she also shows you a dramatic change deep inside her whole being. How she accomplishes this is a mystery to me and one of the miracles of acting.
Directed by D.W. Griffith
Writing Credits: Marian Fremont ... (story)
Cast (in credits order)
Lillian Gish ... True Heart Susie
Robert Harron ... William Jenkins
Wilbur Higby ... William's father
Loyola O'Connor ... Susie's aunt
George Fawcett ... The Stranger
Clarine Seymour ... Bettina Hopkins
Kate Bruce ... Bettina's aunt
Carol Dempster ... Bettina's friend
Raymond ... Sporty Malone
Produced by D.W. Griffith ... producer
Cinematography by G.W. Bitzer
Ressources: www.wikipedia.org, www.imdb.com
Soundtrack and dubbing: CinemaHistoryChannel
The soundtrack is a derivative work of Music for Manatees, Organic Meditations One, Relaxing Piano Music, Organic Meditations Two by Kevin MacLeod (http://www.incompetech.com/...
), licensed under CC BY 3.0 licence, http://creativecommons.org/...
. No changes were made to the original music.