Skip to Content
Poster for Broken Blossoms
Watch trailer for Broken Blossoms Watch trailer

Broken Blossoms

Director: D.W. Griffith Run Time: 90 min. Format: Digital Rating: NR Release Year: 1919 Language: English subtitles

Starring: Donald Crisp, Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess

An abused waifish woman finds solace in the arms of an immigrant to tragic consequences in Broken Blossoms; part of our Live Sound Cinema Vamps and Virgins series featuring a live score by Gersh/Reed.

Before the Jazz Age, it was the dark ages for women. In D. W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms Lillian Gish plays a girl living in poverty with a violent and abusive father. Seemingly her only escape is the questionable freedom of a life of prostitution or the squalor and slavery is in the form of a loveless marriage. She discovers a middle path through a chance meeting with an outsider: Cheng, a Chinese immigrant shopkeeper. But she is a white, virginal and underage. Their relationship is impossible in the time and place they live. There love is an illicit and tragic but because of this it is also transcendent and beautiful.

Broken Blossoms is part of Nitehawk Cinema’s Vamps and Virgins series that explores the two sides of the leading lady spectrum in silent film. 

Bradford Reed & Geoff Gersh have been collaborating together for almost 20 years. During that time, there have been many performances together with various bands as well as working together on projects for dance and film. They have been accompanying silent films at Nitehawk Cinema on a regular basis since July 2012.