Two families – the Stoneman family from the North and the Southern Cameron clan – are friends with one another, with clear romantic interests between males and females on both sides. However, when the American Civil War breaks out the families find themselves in opposing camps. Both suffer losses until a Cameron son ends up being cared for by the Stoneman daughter in a Northern hospital when the war ends. All looks to be well until President Lincoln is assassinated, at which point everything becomes more racist than could possibly be imagined. Continue reading →
This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series for French Toast Sunday, and was recommended to me by Will Slater from Exploding Helicopter as part of my Nominated Movies quest.
Ben Harper (Peter Graves) has just stolen $10,000 from the bank, and killed two people in the process. He tells his young children John and Pearl (Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce) where the money is hidden, just before their father is arrested. In prison, Ben shares the details of his larceny with his cell mate, Reverend Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), who has been arrested for stealing a car, but is in actual fact a serial killer. Upon his release, Powell heads to the Harper homestead, with plans of getting his hands on that money, by whatever means necessary. Continue reading →
“This strangely beautiful silent film from D.W. Griffith is also one of his more grim efforts; an indictment of child abuse and the violence of western society.” – So reads the LoveFilm blurb for this 1919 silent picture, and should justify why it took me a little while to get around to watching: it sounds bloody depressing. More so, in fact, than it turned out to be, as the horrendous racism, when seen from a modern perspective, overshadowed the more soul-crushing elements of the plot. Continue reading →