- Format: NTSC
- Language: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
- Studio: Kino International
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000056N7T
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,516 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ £1.26 UK delivery
Broken Blossoms [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
A SESITIVE PORTRAYAL OF A CHINESE MAN WHO TRAVELS TO ENGLAND & MEETS A 15 YEAR OLD STREET URCHIN WHO LONGS TO ESCAPE HER MISERABLE EXISTENCE. SCARRED BY THE TORMENT & NEGELCT OF HER FATHER, SHE COLLAPSES IN THE SHOP OF THE LONELY YELLOW MAN. AS HE NURSES HER BACK TO HEALTH, AN UNSPOKEN ROMANCE BLOSSOMS.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
Lillian Gish's plays the part of a fifteen year old girl called Lucy totally convincingly (she was actually twenty six at the time). The scenes of her trapped in the cupboard turning hysterically, while Battling Burrows (Donald Crisp) beats down the door is truely harrowing and must represent one of the finest moments in motion picture history.
If there had been academy awards available at this time Gish would have deserve the best actress award for this performance.
The addition of Broken Blossoms on this DVD has been restored by David Sheppard and the picture quality is therefore stunning, it includes the original colour tints of the films release as well as a score written especially for the film in the 1920's.
I can not recommend this DVD more, it is one that you will want to watch again and again.
Lillian Gish plays tragic heroin Lucy, the teenage illegitimate daughter of 'Battling' Burrows, a brutish heavy drinker who earns his pennies through winning back-street prize fights. She lives a life of domestic servitude to her bullying father, who enjoys exerting his power over her through intimidation and violence. Even to this day the scenes of domestic violence are powerful and heart rending. Lucy's terror is apparent as she squirms and cowers. The scene in which her father forces her to "Wear a smile" as tears poor down her cheeks produces what must be one of the most tragic expressions in cinema history. However, the great emotional scene is when her father attacks the wardrobe with a hatchet, inside of which Lucy has sought refuge. This is very similar to the "Here's Johnny' moment in The Shining as a panicked Lucy turns like a trapped animal, searching for an impossable means of escape. In this scene the silence of the film adds to the drama as her screams for help cannot be heard. This compounds the sense of entrapment and isolation, putting distance between Lucy and the audience and therefore the world. She seems all the more pittyful as, at her greatest moment of need, she has no voice.
There is respite from the domestic misery when Lucy is befriended by young Chinese shop owner Cheng Huan. Having initially travelled to the west to spread the peace and wisdom of Buddhism, he looses his way in the face of ignorance and casual racism. When his path crosses with Lucy, he finds his chance to help another outsider like himself, and sees a beauty behind her world weary exterior that is unnoticed by others.
Most of the silent movies that I have seen have been the comedies, the work of Chaplin, Keaton and Harold Lloyd. This was the first silent movie I have seen that is a tragidy and if you're a fan of silent films, or want to get into them and start a collection, then I must recommend this film highly. Lillian Gish puts on a performance which is not only wonderful and powerful, but heart aching in it's emotional intensity. A must see for all fans of movie history and the silent era.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Criticisms concerning Richard Barthelmess playing a Chinese character miss the point. The important factor is the character's nature not his nationality. The same can be said for criticism of Donald Crisp's turn as the brutal father. His portrayal is deliberately exaggerated for melodramatic effect (he was asked to make the part as apelike as possible) and it later served as the basis for the facial expressions and movements of the original KING KONG. Lillian Gish delivers one of the great silent film performances of all time which clearly shows why she was the first lady of the silent screen.
There are a number of DVD versions of BROKEN BLOSSOMS out there so you must be careful which one you choose. Anything with a budget price should be avoided at all costs. "You get what you pay for" is especially true of silent film video releases. These are public domain copies which are taken from 16mm second generation prints, usually transferred at the wrong speed, and feature a music score that was tacked on without regard to what is happening onscreen. These cheap copies can easily ruin your viewing experience for the reasons listed above.
Right now there are only two releases of the many available which show BROKEN BLOSSOMS the way it was meant to be seen. The Kino version and the Image version. Neither is a complete restoration as none of Griffith's films have been fully restored. The Kino has a slightly better picture quality and a number of extras while the Image features the original color tinting and score composed for the film which adds immensely to its overall effect. Unless you really love film and want all the extra features, I recommend the Image version for its greater emotional impact.
Although no longer available as a new release, there are plenty of good, used copies to choose from and at a better price too. But no matter which version you choose, just sit back and let this nearly 90 year old film work its magic on you. Think of it as a male version of MADAME BUTTERFLY with a healthy dose of Dickens thrown in. It takes a little work to bridge the gap of time, but if you're willing to make the effort then you will be amply rewarded.