Orphans of the Storm

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"A dramatic epic"
  • NR
  • 1921
  • 2 hr 32 min
  • 7.3  (5,360)

Orphans of the Storm is a silent film from 1921 directed by D.W. Griffith, starring Lillian and Dorothy Gish, and Joseph Schildkraut. Set in the time of the French Revolution, the film follows two sisters, Henriette (Lillian Gish) and Louise (Dorothy Gish), who are separated during the chaos of the revolution. Henriette, blind since childhood, is left alone in Paris while Louise is kidnapped and intended to be sold into prostitution.

Henriette, aided by Chevalier de Vaudrey (Joseph Schildkraut), struggles to survive on her own as she seeks for her sister. Along the way, she is imprisoned twice, once in a debtors' prison and once in a women's prison for suspected pickpocketing. Vaudrey also faces danger, as he falls into the hands of a group of bandits who threaten to kill him. Throughout these hardships, Henriette and Vaudrey develop a strong bond, despite their different social standings.

While Henriette searches for her sister, Louise is taken under the wing of countess de Linieres (Lucille La Verne), who sees Louise's potential as a dancer. Louise becomes a well-known performer and catches the eye of Danton (Monte Blue), a revolutionary leader. As Louise rises in prominence, she becomes caught up in political intrigue and is eventually sentenced to death.

Eventually, Henriette's and Louise's paths cross once again, but they face challenges in trying to reunite. Henriette is aided by a kind and wealthy woman, who offers her a place to stay and tries to help the sisters find each other. Meanwhile, Vaudrey, who has become a leader of the revolution, tries to rescue Louise from the guillotine. The film culminates in a thrilling chase and a dramatic conclusion that brings resolution to the sisters' fates.

Orphans of the Storm is known for its spectacular sets and its historical accuracy. The film's depiction of the French Revolution is vivid and realistic, as the violence and chaos surrounding the revolution are well-captured thanks to Griffith's direction. The film also boasts strong performances from its lead actors, particularly Lillian Gish, whose portrayal of the blind Henriette is both moving and nuanced.

While the film is primarily a historical drama, it also has romantic elements, as both Henriette and Louise find themselves caught up in love stories. Vaudrey and Henriette's relationship is particularly intriguing, as it is a love that transcends social class.

Orphans of the Storm is an epic and emotional film that captures the turmoil and tragedy of the French Revolution. It is also a story of hope and perseverance, as the two sisters endure hardships and overcome obstacles in their quest to reunite. With its stunning visuals and talented cast, Orphans of the Storm remains a classic of silent cinema.

Orphans of the Storm is a 1921 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.

Orphans of the Storm
Where to Watch Orphans of the Storm
Orphans of the Storm is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FlixFling, The Roku Channel, EPIX and FlixFling VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Orphans of the Storm for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (5,360)