Wednesday, 20 February 2013
D.W. Griffith's Isn't Life Wonderful? 1924
A silent film directed by D. W. Griffith for his company D. W. Griffith Productions, and distributed by United Artists. It was based on the novel by Geoffrey Moss and it went under the alternative title Dawn.
A family from Poland has been left homeless in the wake of World War I. They move to Germany and struggle to survive the conditions there, during the Great Inflation. Inga (Carol Dempster) is a Polish war orphan who has only accumulated a small amount of money from the rubble and hopes to marry Paul (Neil Hamilton). Weakened by poison gas, Paul begins to invest in Inga's future and he serves as their symbol of optimism. Read more on Wikipedia
Lowry refers to the film in a letter to Carol Brown dated April 1926; "I say: isn't Life wonderful? (Collected Letters Vol 1 Pg. 12).
Sherrill Grace in her annotations to the Collected Letters Vol 1 states that the film is:
"....about two young lovers who respond to being robbed with the cheerful remark: 'Isn't Life Wonderful?'. They end up living happily married in a pretty cottage. The film stayed in Lowry's mind, and he used it as a thematic motif in October Ferry to Gabriola. See my discussion of the allusion in The Voyage That Never Ends (88-89)."