LILLIAN GISH: The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me by Lillian & Ann Pinchot Gish

LILLIAN GISH: The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me

Email this review


A retake of the day before only yesterday, with something of the gentle, sentimental quality of the Helen Hayes' books--Miss Gish is a somewhat comparable figure as the first lady of films. This is simultaneously the story of D. W. Griffith who created the industry to whom she was unswervingly devoted as well as that of her sister Dorothy, giddier, overindulged and overprotected. Lillian and Dorothy were just children when Griffith started them on their way just after he converted the nicolodeon into the silent screen: Lillian stayed with him longer than any of his other discoveries (Mary Pickford, Blanche Sweet, Mae Marsh) even though ultimately he also sent her on to other studios (a disastrous association with Charles Duell who pilloried and sued her), and a surprisingly (to those who have forgotten) steady working continuum on the stage, occasional films and even television. Griffith, however, always in financial difficulties, an embittered man lost in an alcoholic fog, never survived the success of the industry which is irreparably in his debt. As for Miss Gish, whose ethereal face is no longer too well remembered, her genius was best defined by her long friend and suitor, George Jean Nathan--she made ""the definite charmingly indefinite."" A pleasant memoir.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1969
Publisher: Prentice-Hall