A wealthy young Southern aristocrat, Joseph, graduates from a seminary and, before he takes charge of his assigned parish, decides to go out and see what "the real world" is all about. He ...
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A wealthy young Southern aristocrat, Joseph, graduates from a seminary and, before he takes charge of his assigned parish, decides to go out and see what "the real world" is all about. He winds up in New Orleans and finds himself attracted to a poor, unsophisticated orphan girl, Bessie. One thing leads to another, and before long Bessie finds that she is pregnant with Joseph's child.Written by
The White Rose that turned crimson, then white again. A picture as big as love-as big as joy-big as ennobling tears-a true story of real life. (Print ad-Waihi Daily Telegraph,((Waihi, NZ)) 26 April 1924) See more »
D.W. Griffith's "The White Rose" begins with a title card reading, "This is a story of real life with the actual incidents pertaining thereto as told by Captain Staunton of Louisiana." In addition to my doubts that this film is based on any single factual incident, let alone as told by one man (According to Griffith biographer Richard Schickel, Griffith had researched, or read about, many scandals involving clergymen in preparation for this picture), this movie bares only a superficial resemblance to real life (which is the case with most movies, of course). It is, however, similar to his other melodramas. A following title card introducing the film states, "It concerns a few human beings - no mobs or melodramatic action...." "The White Rose" is full of melodramatic action.
Anyhow, this is one of Griffith's worst films (that I've seen). It's contrived, overlong, overly sensational and plodding. Its morality tale is boring and ludicrous at times. Additionally, Mae Marsh certainly does lay it on thick with her ridiculous flapper imitation, and Carol Dempster continues to demonstrate no talent. There's some (comparatively) mild racist comedy based in degrading African Americans, too. On the other hand, and to say something favorably about the picture, the film-making isn't technically as slipshod, or unpolished, as in some of Griffith's other lesser films. Not recommended.
(Note: The print I saw was of poor quality, with bleached faces occasionally.)
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