The White Sister

Overview

Lillian Gish plays the girl whose travails begin when her father dies and her conniving sister cheats her out of her inheritance. Gish is deeply in love with handsome army officer Ronald Colman, but when war erupts, he is sent to the front. Soon after he is listed among the dead. In her despair, Gish turns to God and enters a convent. The scene in which she assumes the veil and takes her final vows is particularly moving and was supervised by the chief ceremonial director for the Vatican so it is also accurate. ...
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Overview

Lillian Gish plays the girl whose travails begin when her father dies and her conniving sister cheats her out of her inheritance. Gish is deeply in love with handsome army officer Ronald Colman, but when war erupts, he is sent to the front. Soon after he is listed among the dead. In her despair, Gish turns to God and enters a convent. The scene in which she assumes the veil and takes her final vows is particularly moving and was supervised by the chief ceremonial director for the Vatican so it is also accurate. Soon after the ceremony, Colman who didn't really die, shows up and begs her to leave the Church for him. When that fails, he tries to trick her into petitioning the Pope, but again she stands firm. Just as she says no, Mount Vesuvius erupts and the soldier saves his beloved from certain death. Her sister doesn't fare as well. Still, before she dies, she begs for Gish's and God's forgiveness. Colman heroically races toward town to warn them, but dies before he arrives. Gish is sad, but continues to live her life for God.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The White Sister succeeds because of the charisma of Lillian Gish and Ronald Colman, and because audiences of the 1920s seemed to want to believe that the horrible real-life sacrifices that had been made in World War I were worthwhile. This is essentially a post-war propaganda film, reinforcing the notion that it is better to die serving a noble cause than to live in peace and happiness. The White Sister reinforces the power over the individual of both the state and the church, with Gish's character giving her life to the Catholic church and Colman's character dying a violent death trying to save others. The tech credits for The White Sister are quite good, with the fine cinematography by Roy Overbaugh helping to keep the film visually interesting. The location filming in Italy is a significant asset, as is director Henry King's steady pacing. A caution: video versions of this film are often severely edited and have other quality of production problems.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/21/2011
  • UPC: 842614102394
  • Original Release: 1923
  • Source: Grapevine Video
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Sound: silent
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 63,785

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lillian Gish Angela Chiaromonte
Ronald Colman Capt. Giovanni Severini
Gail Kane Marchesa de Mola
J. Barney Sherry Monsignor Saracinesca
Charles Lane Prince Chiaromonte
Juliette La Violette Mme. Bernard
Alfredo Bertone Filmore Durand
Roman Iba±ez Count del Fence
Alfredo Martinelli Alfredo del Ferice
Corioni Talli Mother Superior
Sheik Mahomet Bedouin Chief
Sig Serena Prof. Ugo Severi
Technical Credits
Henry King Director, Producer
Robert M. Haas Production Designer
George V. Hobart Screenwriter
Duncan Mansfield Editor
Roy Overbaugh Cinematographer
Charles E. Whittaker Screenwriter
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