Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant romantic tragedy starring Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish didn't become silent cinema's greatest actress by playing happy characters living magically idyllic lives. D.W. Griffith helped mold her into the quintessential tragic heroine, an actress who combined a great sense of moral fortitude and incredible passion with the beauty and character of an angel from heaven. Gish was no longer working with Griffith in...
Published on September 1, 2003 by Daniel Jolley

versus
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Print Was Horrendous
This MIGHT have been a good movie if the print of this silent film The White Sister was at least watchable. I sat through the whole thing but it was a chore all the way. The print is so dark in spots you can't see anything, the faces of the actors are whited out unless in close up, there was no attempt made to edit the film to take out defects, and it was grainy as well...
Published on November 10, 2003 by Jill Pat


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant romantic tragedy starring Lillian Gish, September 1, 2003
This review is from: The White Sister [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Lillian Gish didn't become silent cinema's greatest actress by playing happy characters living magically idyllic lives. D.W. Griffith helped mold her into the quintessential tragic heroine, an actress who combined a great sense of moral fortitude and incredible passion with the beauty and character of an angel from heaven. Gish was no longer working with Griffith in 1923 when she made The White Sister for Inspiration Pictures (the film was quickly picked up for distribution by Metro Picture Corporation). Freed of any restraints imposed upon her by the demanding Griffith, she truly shines in this story of tragic romance based upon a novel by Francis Marion Crawford.
Gish plays Angela Chiaromonte, the second daughter to a wealthy Italian nobleman. When her father is tragically killed, her evil, older half-sister quickly burns her father's will, thus assuring herself by law of possession of his entire estate. She wastes no time throwing poor Angela out of the house. As if things weren't already bad enough for the sweet and innocent Angela, she soon learns that the man she loves, Captain Giovanni Severini, is being called to lead a military excursion into Africa. Ronald Colman, in his first starring role, is wonderful as Captain Severini, playing his part with great emotion. When Angela later gets word that her beloved has been killed, she chooses to become a nun and work for humanity in the memory of the man she loved. Captain Severini is not in fact dead, but it takes him the better part of two years to make his way home and find, to his heart-breaking horror, that Angela, who had promised to wait for him forever, had chosen to wed herself to the church. The last meeting between Angela and Severini is an incredibly poignant one, one almost equaled by the power and passion of the final tragic moments of the film.
The White Sister, directed by Henry King, was filmed in Italy, predominantly in the beautiful locations of Rome and Naples. It premiered in New York on September 5, 1923 before being distributed in general release the following year, and it met with much critical and popular success. There is some question about the length of the film. Apparently, the movie at its premiere exceeded 13,000 feet but was cut down in stages to ten reels totaling less than 10,000 feet by the time of its general release. The version I saw totaled 68 minutes, but significantly longer versions of the film can reportedly be found. The picture quality is unfortunately rather poor, at least in the print I saw. A number of scenes were all but impossible to make out due to the obscurity of the print, and actors' faces, so crucial to the acting performances of silent films, were oftentimes blanked out to a nondescript white blob. Even still, The White Sister is a powerful emotional film that goes some way to proving just how good a silent film could be both then and now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Print Was Horrendous, November 10, 2003
By 
This review is from: The White Sister [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This MIGHT have been a good movie if the print of this silent film The White Sister was at least watchable. I sat through the whole thing but it was a chore all the way. The print is so dark in spots you can't see anything, the faces of the actors are whited out unless in close up, there was no attempt made to edit the film to take out defects, and it was grainy as well. Maybe someone else is selling a better print somewhere but this is not it. If I were this company I would be embarrassed to put this out on video and expect money for it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ronald Colman loves Lillian Gish, but she just became a nun, June 12, 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: The White Sister [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Ronald Colman had his first starring role opposite Lillian Gish in this 1923 Silent Classic directed by Henry King. Gish plays Angela Chiaromonte, an aristocratic girl whose father dies. Her half-sister (Gail Kane) burns their father's will and sends Angela away into poverty. She falls in love with dashing young Captain Giovanni Severi (Colman), who is reportedly killed in action in Africa. The grief stricken Angela becomes a nun, not knowing her beloved has been captured by a Bedouin Chief (Sheik Mahomet). Giovanni returns too late, for Angela has taken her final vows. He tries to take her from the convent and finally tricks her into a meeting where he begs her to sign a petition to the Pope to release her from her vows. At that point the Mt. Vesuvius volcano erupts, causing storms and floods. Giovanni saves Angela, who finds her sister dying in a church. Angela forgives her sister, but then Giovanni tries to warn the villagers of the coming disaster and he drowns.
Lillian Gish had left D. W. Griffith and was having trouble getting "The White Star" released under her Inspiration Pictures label. But the film, shot on location in Italy, proved a great success in its initial New York showing and was picked up by Metro. The photography in this film is quite beautiful and the adaptation of Francis Marion Crawford's novel provides some good moments for both Gish and Colman. An earlier silent version had been made in 1915 with Viola Allen and Richard Travers in the two lead roles and a decidedly Hollywood version was produced in 1933 with Helen Hayes and Clark Gable. Final note: I have seen several indications that this particular video version of the 12-reel film is missing several scenes with Gish. If so, then this film is certainly deserving of restoration. Gish, Colman and King would triumph again in 1924 with "Romola," which cost $2 million to make and was shot in Florence, Italy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lillian Gish, October 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Few actors have what it takes to enjoy a career that spans from the beginnings of cinema into the 1980s. Lillian Gish is an exceptional actress that easily made the transition from the silent era into the talkies. She went on to star in many more projects up until her death. This volume exhibits some classic earlier Lillian and is a great place to start for anything one who is interested in discovering one of films greatest stars!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the original silent film White Sister, July 22, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The White Sister (DVD)
Get out your hankies, you will love it. The color remake cannot hold a candle to this original silent black and white. Lillian Gish glows on he screen. Even if she was not lighted that way, she would still shine. When she is visible, you cannot take your eyes off of her. Which brings me to her eyes. They are huge and seem on the verge of tears, as she "floats" through each scene. Watching this film will make you long for the days of silent films, without all the noise and special effects; just great acting!! Do yourself a favor and watch it with a friend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nun's story which promises an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, April 5, 2010
By 
J. Faulk (New York NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The White Sister (DVD)
Lillian Gish is cheated of her inheritance by her half-sister. Her fiance', Italian army captain Ronald Coleman, remains steadfast. However, he is ordered to head an engineering project in the North African desert, where he is reportedly killed by Arab bandits. Lillian determines to take the veil. Her ceremony before the altar is presented in great detail. She is gowned as a bride, stripped of her earthly garments to stand bare-armed in a shift, and so acquiescent as she offers her head on a salver for the Archbishop to shear her tresses. Frankly, I was bothered by the overtones in all this. (Then I read that Bride of Christ is a phrase encompassing all the adherents collectively who follow Him.)

In nun's habit, Lillian serves as a nursing sister at the hospital. There Capt. Coleman, miraculously returned, discovers her, and the two have an agonizing confrontation. Later he goes so far as to lure her to a villa to demand she renounce her vow or indeed he will rescind it by assaulting her. Of course, they both realize he could never be such a cad.

A nearby gauge indicates that Vesuvius is brimming to an eruption. Forgetting all else, Capt. Coleman gallops off to warn villagers to evacuate. So we expect spectacular special effects with hundreds perishing in molten lava! But no, that would cancel out the Captain's heroism. So the scenario writers divert to dam failure and flooding--which the populace manages to survive.

However, Capt. Coleman loses his life in this selfless act. Sister Lillian will carry on, knowing she will someday be reunited with Ronald in heaven.

This long (143 min) silent film was shot in Italy, performances are strong, and only sparse titles are necessary. The music track excerpted from recordings becomes quite a hodgepodge in attempting to fit each scene.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Great First Movie, April 6, 2014
By 
LARRY HALLA (Pewaukee, WI, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The White Sister (DVD)
THE WHITE SISTER was my first exposure to a silent film. I was not sure just what to expect overall, and if I would be able to follow the plot, etc. I was amazed at the intricate story line of the film and how easy I got use to concentrating on the actors expressions in order to follow the plot of the story. My main complaint, I wish my version has been gone over digitally in order to improve the overall sharpness of the images.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Ya, January 30, 2014
Come on "Rare Films Of Lillian Gish Volume 1" and it only contains, what, one movie? Silent Films, Archive Hollywood? Is this free market capitalism at work or what? You have to pay $17 for each one? That is a joke on us......
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars VHS -78 MINUTES ARE MISSING!, August 8, 2013
By 
Hargreaves (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The White Sister [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This 65 minute VHS from Timeless Multimedia is missing a whopping 78 minutes off the film. The film should run 143 minutes. It's hard to imagine a company cutting a film in more than half.

Do yourself a favor, find the DVD version with 143 minutes, and spend your money and viewing time on the real thing, all 143 minutes of this fine black and white silent. Ronald Colman puts in a knockout performance, long before his glorious voice and velvet articulation hit the talkies.

Too bad I had to give even one star to this VHS, but there is no Zero-star rating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite the work of genius for its time., August 5, 2009
By 
Library Lady (Chico, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The White Sister [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Never thought I could sit through a silent movie on tv, but (once I got into the pace) I had to admire everything about it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The White Sister
The White Sister by Henry King (DVD - 2011)
$18.98 $17.08
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.