File: Orphans of the Storm (1921).webm
Author: D. W. Griffith
Publisher: United Artists
Cat: Drama film, Films based on plays, Films with historical settings
TIME:— Before and during the French Revolution.
After the King's Government falls they suffer with the rest of the people as much through the new Government, established by the pussy-footing Robespierre through Anarchy and Bolshevism.
Strange that both these evil rulers were otherwise highly moral men except that they saw evil in all who did not THINK AS THEY DID.
The lesson — the French Revolution RIGHTLY overthrew a BAD government. But we in America should be careful lest we with a GOOD government mistake fanatics for leaders and exchange our decent law and order for Anarchy and Bolshevism.
...slay her husband.
To protect the family name they take her baby from her helpless arms.
The aristocrats considering the common man but slightly more important than their other property.
Her name is Louise.
Instead of the promised sheltering care —
Jean Girard, driven by direst poverty puts his baby Henriette on the foundling step of Notre Dame — to save her from starvation.
The other unfortunate whose baby hands tremble with the cold awakens him to the danger that may await his own.
With the usual inconsistency of mankind —
— he returns home with both babies.
Around the throat of the other foundling —
Her name is Louise.
So Life's journey begins.
The palace of the Count de Linieres, Prefect of Police of Paris.
No other warrant but his signature is needed to send one into life imprisonment or exile — subject only to the king.
The mother of the foundling Louise — now the Countess de Linieres.
Through the years since she was forced by her family into marriage with the Count, her past has been kept from him.
The young Chevalier de Vaudrey, nephew of the Countess, of a nobility the world's proudest and oldest.
Picard, the Chevalier's valet.
Jean Setain, Nicknamed "Jacques-Forget-Not", a tenant on the Countess' estate — one who will go far and in the journey stormfully cross the orphans' path.
"The rent — I can't pay — taxes and everything so high—"
"My Lady, things have gone hard since my father 'displeased' the great lord — your father — and was punished —"
"—the young Chevalier de Vaudrey taught to look on approvingly—"
"—boiling lead into his veins."
In his dreams of vengeance these three are never forgotten.
Louis XVI, King of France, representing the selfish tyranny of the old feudal rights of Kingship and Aristocracy.
The Palais Royal gardens, which the Duc D'Orleans, through hatred of the King, his cousin, has allowed to be used as a place of rebellious talk against the King.
Danton, a struggling lawyer, disgusted with the rule of Kings, afterwards famous as the "pock-marked Thunderer" of the French Revolution.
Note:—The Abraham Lincoln of France.
FROM THE AMERICAN CONGRESS
TO MARQUIS DELAFAYETTE
"'From America's Congress' — That's the kind of government we want here."
The Two Orphans
Time finds Henriette preparing for a visit to Paris.
Since Louise's blindness Henriette has cared for her with a love overwhelming as that of a mother for her helpless baby.
Miss Dorothy Gish
Miss Lillian Gish
For after the plague had deprived Henriette of her parents and left Louise afflicted....
Henriette forced to tell her of her blindness.
"Henriette — I can't see you!"
"Don't — Don't — I'll take care of you — I — I'll see for you."
While in the city —
A hat — and other things.
Danton's indignation at the injustice that gives to the aristocrats limitless luxury and to the people unspeakable poverty.
The Chevalier sees—
"If more of the aristocrats were like you, things would be different."
Having received hope that Louise's blindness can be cured in Paris — the two orphans are ready for the journey.
"Then when Miss Baby's eyes are quite well — I shall sit down like a lady — and you'll do all the work."
"I won't go — you'll meet somebody in Paris — get married — and — and I'll be left all alone!"
The little solemn oath: Never to marry until Louise can see and approve her husband.
Paris — The market place near the Pont Neuf.
"Scissors to mend—knives to grind!"
Pierre's mother, a disreputable old scoundrel.
Jacques Frochard, Pierre's brother.
Jacques' indignation at Pierre's small earnings.
The old coach blocks the way of a great noble — the Marquis de Praille.
Henriette naively confides the entire details of their trip to Paris.
"No, Monsieur, I think we had better go in our own coach."
Knowing they are only of the common people, the Marquis plots —
Inflamed by Henriette's virginal beauty, the Marquis orders La Fleur to abduct her at any hazard.
The Marquis arrives in Paris.
"Dead? Sorry — This for the mother."
"Are the horses hurt?" An historical incident.
At the coach house.
"At my fete — make no mistake, La Fleur — bring her."
La Fleur lays his plans.
Monsieur Martin, a friend of the family, come to meet the two orphans.
"Plenty of time — the coach is late."
The little north gate.
Twilight — the fete at the palace of the Marquis de Praille.
The arrival of the Chevalier de Vaudrey.
Enough wasted at these feasts to feed many.
Poverty murmurs ominously outside the gates.
La Fleur having disposed of Monsieur Martin.
La Fleur biding his time.
The Marquis feared no criticism of his dissolute orgies — secure in his aristocratic privileges.
"Best enjoy our privileges while we can — there is but a short time left."
"The people cry out for bread."
"No friends? I'LL take care of you."
Old Frochard sees a chance to get easy money.
"Here are your lodgings, dearie."
When the moon rose.
The play foretelling what is to happen to ALL after twelve o'clock.
A fountain of wine.
"Here's my little beauty! Now you'll all be envious."
"My sister Louise — where is she?"
"Quick! Please — let me go!"
"Don't you understand? She is BLIND! She cannot take a SINGLE STEP without me!"
The Chevalier at first thinking it only the sham of a willing victim.
"Among all these noblemen — isn't there ONE MAN OF HONOR?"
"Come, Mademoiselle, we will leave this place."
"After twelve o'clock no one leaves this house!"
Conveyances having been sent away ....
The vengeful JacquesForget-Not mistakes them as a part of the revel.
"Pretty — blind — she'll beg us lots of money."
Lodging house, home of Maxmillian Robespierre, a poor lawyer, who, when he becomes a ruler of France will play an important part in Henriette's life.
Lodgings arranged for.
"I — I don't know how to thank you!"
"Don't — Please don't cry!"
"Forgive me! I — I'll never do it again."
The Count enraged at the gossip over the Chevalier's fight about some woman, commands Picard to watch his conduct.
"You sing — I'll do the begging -"
Louise refusing to beg upon the street, they try a means to bring her to their will.
Thinking she sees Louise —
Outraged at the Chevalier's interest in Henriette, the Count refuses the aid of the police in searching for Louise.
"Monsieur, you must end your association with these common people."
Reporting to the police.
Louise promises obedience.
A word from the King arranges a marriage between the Chevalier de Vaudrey and a woman of princely rank.
The Count delighted at a marriage that will advance his family still higher.
Danton and Robespierre.
"Are you the little girl who lost her sister?"
Robespierre, who little dreams that between himself and Danton the world will be shaken and they soon shall rule France.
"Damned aristocrats! The people are going to stop that sort of thing!"
"Women will be your downfall, Danton."
I have arranged a state marriage for you with a Princess of the Blood.
"I cannot marry her. I have already met the girl I love."
"You dare disobey the King!"
"With the People's government there will be no common man, no aristocrat, no rich nor poor — but all brothers — brothers — brothers."
Danton's eloquence alarms a great royalist — who plots.
The royalist spies.
"You can't go — Better a little gossip about me than for you to lose your life."
Danton's power among the people is growing, the police take his side.
"I hear Danton was in a little trouble last night."
Robespierre, the original pussy-footer, a splendid regulator of other people's morals and affairs —
She thinking — "If I had a great brother like this -" As for his thoughts —
Promising to remember all his life.
"You are mistaken — I live quite alone."
"A friend of mine, I am sure."
A little door slam — yet later it shall shadow Henriette at the doors of death.
Not even his name!
The good doctor from La Force.
"Don't encourage her too much — bring her to me — I'm quite sure she can be cured."
"No — he said your case is hopeless."
"You'll shiver better without that shawl."
After another search.
"Any news of her?"
Picard acting on the Count's instructions.
"Don't you ever think of anyone but her?"
The betrothal ring.
"Marry you — an aristocrat! Why, that would ruin you in the eyes of all the world!"
"Don't you — Don't you love me?"
"You DO love me!"
"When Louise is found — dreams — yes — perhaps you might find a way to bring them true."
Youthfully swearing that Louise WILL SOON BE FOUND!
The Countess not suspecting this beggar girl is her own daughter.
Stirred by a strange sympathy.
"My daughter — youngest of seven."
"Give this to your mother, child."
The Chevalier begs the Countess, his aunt, to see his loved one for herself.
"I am the aunt of the Chevalier de Vaudrey."
The Count commands marriage after his will or exile to a fortress prison.
"Marriage between you and the Chevalier is impossible."
"I love him, Madame."
"Louise — that name is very dear to me."
"Help me — find my sister — I — I will do anything you say."
The autocratic Count moves to settle this love affair for once and all.
"Blind — so helpless — like taking care of a baby."
"She isn't really my sister — but -"
"My own child!"
"Singing — don't you hear?"
"In my dreams I hear — I must be losing my reason."
"Don't get excited — wait — I'll be there."
The prison for fallen women ....
.... The greater injustice.
The Chevalier exiled to a royalist center far from Paris.
Exultant — the Revolution is nearly ready.
A greater danger for Louise.
"I saw such a girl with la Frochard — she lives on the Rue de Brissac -"
"You should have told me before."
Picard, despite the Count, goes to deliver a message from the Chevalier to Henriette.
The Storm The ominous drum murmurs to the people of their ancient wrongs.
"Down with tyrants!"
"Down with the Bastille!"
"Starvation — oppression — ages of injustice — prisons where your innocent ones die under autocracy!"
Danton wins the guards that bar his way.
The first combat between the King's soldiers and the people.
Robespierre — waiting the outcome.
Danton's thunder shaking the world.
The King hears —
The Count also.
"With the fall of the Bastille — the King's stronghold.
The People triumphant.
"Set free the victims of Tyranny!"
Vengeance on the aristocrats, their former masters.
Strikes the lightning — Jacques-Forget-Not remembers.
The victims of the Aristocrats are freed.
The Count emigrates with the other aristocrats.
Forget-Not is too late for complete vengeance on the de Vaudreys.
"My sister's shawl!"
"Where is she?"
"Poor thing — with the hard life we have to lead — she — she died."
Appealing to the law to verify the truth of the old hag's story.
Drunk with their new freedom — the riff-raff of the city dance the Carmagnole — that unexplainable wild expression of the mob madness.
There IS no law!
Henriette caught in the storm.
"I have been a coward long enough — don't touch her!"
"Who'll stop me?"
"You have said it, Jacques! We come of a race that kills!"
The downfall of Royalty — the end of the first Tyranny.
But — defeating the People's will — arises a new Tyranny — Anarchy — Bolshevism — and the sly politician, Robespierre —
— the greatest Tyrants, working upon mob passions, as head of the deadly Committee of Public Safety. }}
A decree sending twentytwo political rivals to the Guillotine — the Committee having been given absolute power by the new Democratic Government.
Danton vainly pleads for mercy.
"France must be purged of all vice." Robespierre's oft repeated speech.
The Chevalier begins the long journey to see Henriette again despite the warning that death awaits all aristocrats returning to Paris.
Prison massacre of the Aristocrats.
In this storm-wracked world, Jacques-Forget-Not has become a great judge — a most fanatical patriot.
Inspecting the barriers.
"Watch strictly that no aristocrats escape! Our new law also condemns to death all who SHELTER an aristocrat."
"Be careful yourself of the sharp female called "Guillotine!"
After a hazardous journey.
"This pass is for you only."
Forget-Not's chance for vengeance.
Danton a national hero.
"Thou who hast said, 'I am the light', Show me the way."
"Arrest de Vaudrey and all in that room!"
"You are under arrest as a returned aristocrat."
"YOU are also under arrest, Citizeness, for sheltering a returned aristocrat."
Henriette and the Chevalier before the dread Tribunal of the Reign of Terror —
The sans-culottes — hoodlums whom not even the masters dare offend.
Jury and judges in one.
Robespierre, the Tyrant, a distinguished visitor.
"We have had no trial!"
"Henriette Girard and Citizen de Vaudrey!"
"An aristocrat — yes — but not an enemy of the people."
"I MYSELF accuse you, Citizen de Vaudrey! I accuse your family and all aristocrats of oppression and murder through countless generations!"
"Guillotine — Guillotine — GUILLOTINE!"
"You sheltered this aristocrat?"
"Of course — I — I love him."
"The penalty for sheltering an aristocrat is death, Citizeness."
"She might hear — please — not so loud!"
"Please — my sister — we have just met after a long time — she — she is blind!"
"Louise, stand up — they want to see you."
"You see — there's nobody to take care of her."
"You were an inmate of the prison for fallen women?"
"Yes, Monsieur, but I was not guilty."
"One hour with her — only one hour — then I will go with him!"
Three miles away. The guillotine outside the old city gates.
The trial and deadly ceremonial.
"The trigger's been slipping — not working well."
Death's down-dropping gesture.
"Keep her here until I return."
"No, Danton! Another plea for mercy only endangers your own life!"
"Her name is here — she goes."
To the guillotine — the death carts.
Danton asks a hearing.
"A great injustice has been done! I ask the lives of Henriette Girard and Citizen de Vaudrey!"
"You question the justice of the People's Tribunal?"
Between Love and Hatred — the long battle.
The greatest of orators beginning his greatest oration.
"I plead not for these alone — but against TYRANNY — HATRED — for MERCY — LOVE — that alone will save our suffering nation!"
The long journey ended.
At the foot of the gates of death.
"His wish! Give Danton his wish!"
"Close the gates to the guillotine!"
"The time has come, Citizeness."
The friendly soldier.
"Save him for the guillotine!"
"Release that boy!"
Pierre set free.
Danton's plea for mercy finally spreads throughout France until justice returns. Not until after Robespierre himself is guillotined does a REAL DEMOCRACY begin to dawn. Then are rights restored and do gardens bloom again.
The doctor's gift.
The Countess vowing Pierre's welfare will be her special care.
"Do you approve of him?"