The Great Love (1918)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, War Drama  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This war-time D.W. Griffith film was literally filler -- some of the footage was left over from around the time he shot Hearts of the World. According to reports of the day (the film apparently no longer exists), its modest story and simple approach was a comedown from the director's other, far more impressive work. When World War I breaks out, Jim Young (Robert Harron), of Youngstown goes to Canada to enlist. While training in Britain, he becomes fired up by observing the Dowager Queen and Lady Diana Manners contributing to the war effort (these were actual members of the British royalty and nobility, and were filmed in 1917). He also meets Susie Broadplains (Lillian Gish), a reverend's daughter, but their romance is interrupted by intrigue. Sir Roger Brighton (Henry B. Walthall), who has deserted a girl (Gloria Hope) and come to town, is being courted by a group of German spies. Sir Roger gets interested in Susie when she inherits some money, and this angers Jim, who leaves for the front. Susie naively marries Sir Roger, but when she finds out about his former sweetheart, she spurns him. The spies are to light the way for some planes to bomb an arsenal, but when the driver is captured, Mademoiselle Cointee (Rosemary Theby) is pressed into service. She can't drive, so she convinces Sir Roger to help her. Jim, who has returned, chases after them and smashes their searchlight. Then he uses his own and leads the German fleet to bomb an empty field. In disgrace, Sir Roger takes his own life, leaving Jim and Susie to reunite in the war cause.

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Keywords

war, America, aristocracy, Australia, Britain, conflict, gigolo, girl, good-vs-evil, ideals, love, meeting, military, morale, morals, volunteer