This DVD is a special treat for silent film enthusiasts and anyone who longs for some good old-fashioned, sentimental and charming love stories of days gone by. Both "True Heart Susie" and the second film on this disc, "Hoodoo Ann" were written and produced by `the father of film' D.W. Griffith who is generally remembered today as the director of landmark epics such as "Intolerance" and "Birth of a Nation", so it might come as a pleasant surprise to some to see this other side of Griffith's work. "True Heart Susie", which Griffith also directed, is completely different from his historic epics of only a few years earlier, showing that he also had depth, sensitivity and compassion in filming this story of a simple country girl's unwavering love for her childhood sweetheart. The simple essence of the story is about true love, and that the girls who use "paint and powder" are only temporary flirtations or mistakes men make, but true hearts like Susie's remain faithful and wait for their one and only true love. Along with superb acting by screen legend Lillian Gish whose face and demeanour suit innocent girl roles so well, Griffith brings out many delicate details and touching moments in the film, making it one of his best ever films next to another 1919 production also starring Lillian Gish, namely "Broken Blossoms". It is fitting, therefore, that this DVD presents a beautiful, near-perfect remastered print of "True Heart Susie" along with a wonderful orchestral musical score by the highly-acclaimed Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, which greatly adds to the overall charm and tender mood of the story.
The second film, "Hoodoo Ann" also features experienced actors regularly used by Griffith in many earlier films, namely Mae Marsh and Robert Harron, who both starred in "Intolerance" in the same year, 1916. In this light-hearted story of another sweet and innocent country girl, Mae Marsh is just as convincing as Lillian Gish with her girly manner, and Robert Harron is dependable and reliable as usual, playing Hoodoo Ann's suitor who is puzzled when Ann says she can't marry him. But her reasons are all an amusing set of circumstances and misunderstandings, which make "Hoodoo Ann" simply a joy to watch. Once again, attention to detail is important in this clever, light comedy romance, and everything fits together smoothly along with Mae Marsh's fine performance making Hoodoo Ann a believable character. Picture quality is again extremely good, and it has a standard but very good piano accompaniment. For anyone who'd like to escape to a simpler, idyllic past without heavy drama, these two easy-to-watch early silent films won't disappoint, and in fact, might increase appreciation for both D W Griffith's varied works and silent films generally.