Broken Blossoms

redqueenself

San Antonio, United States

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Artist's Description

This is an interesting film for its time. The Chinese man is depicted as moral and peace loving in a time when the newspapers were whipping up hysteria of the Yellow Peril.

Lillian Gish

9″×11″ pencil and ink drawing inspired by the movie
Broken Blossoms

Here’s a link to watch the film
Broken Blossoms (1919) – Silent Film#
1:28:53
Cheng Huan (Richard Barthelmess) leaves his native China because he “dreams to spread the gentle message of Buddha to the Anglo-Saxon lands.” His idealism fades as he is faced with the brutal reality of London’s gritty inner-city. However, his mission is finally realized in his devotion to the “broken blossom” Lucy Burrows (Lillian Gish), the beautiful but unwanted and abused daughter of boxer Battling Burrows (Donald Crisp).

After being beaten and discarded one evening by her raging father, Lucy finds sanctuary in Cheng’s home, the beautiful and exotic room above his shop. As Cheng nurses Lucy back to health, the two form a bond as two unwanted outcasts of society. All goes astray for them when Lucy’s father gets wind of his daughter’s whereabouts and in a drunken rage drags her back to their home to punish her. Fearing for her life, Lucy locks herself inside a closet to escape her contemptuous father.
Lucy (Lillian Gish) and Cheng (Richard Barthelmess)

By the time Cheng arrives to rescue Lucy, who he so innocently adores, it is too late. Lucy’s lifeless body lies on her modest bed as Battling has a drink in the other room. As Cheng gazes at Lucy’s youthful face which, in spite of the circumstances, beams with innocence and even the slightest hint of a smile, Battling enters the room to make his escape. The two stand for a long while, exchanging spiteful glances, until Battling lunges for Cheng with a hatchet, and Cheng retaliates by shooting Burrows repeatedly with his handgun. After returning to his home with Lucy’s body, Cheng builds a shrine to Buddha and takes his own life with a knife to the stomach.
The ABC’s of Movies Calendar on Zazzle
.A for Arabian Nights…B for Broken Blossoms…C for Camille…D for Dinner at 8…E for El Cid…F for Flame of the Barbary Coast…G for Gaslight…H for Helen of Troy…I for Island of Lost Souls…J for Jungle Book…K for King Kong…L for Laura…M for Midsummer Night’s Dream…N for The Naked City…O for Our Vines Have Tender Grapes…P for The Painted Veil…Q for Queen Christina…R for Reap the Wild Wind…S for She…T for Teahouse of the August Moon…U for Undercurrent…V for Vera Cruz…W for Wings of Desire…X for Xanadu…Y for The Yearling…Z for Zulu

Artwork Comments

  • shanghaiwu
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  • Deborah Lazarus
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