The Great Love (1918)


As described in Exhibitors Herald, Reviews, NYC Aug 24, 1918: Jim Young (Robert Harron) of Youngstown, Pennsylvania (woo hoo!), reads of the German war atrocities and decides to enlist in the British army, thus becoming a forerunner of the American forces that are subsequently to leave for the battlefields of Europe. He begins active training at a camp outside London. While enjoying a few hours of leave, he meets Susie Broadplains (Lillian Gish), a young woman from Australia. She is flattered by his attentions and their friendship soon blossoms into love. Sussie’s one dissipation consists of walking in Pump Lane with her soldier boy. She falls heir to 20,000 pounds and at once becomes the object of much solicitude from Sir Roger Brighton (Henry B Walthall), a fortune hunter. When Jim is ordered with his regiment to go to the front, he has no time to bid her adieu. Sir Rogers seeks to force his marriage before he leaves for Paris on a business trip and she accepts him. German plotters plan to destroy an arsenal at night and Sir Roger is inveigled into driving an automobile along a London road with its lights turned skyward to guide the Zeppelins. Jim, wounded and home on furlough, detects Sir Roger on the lonely road, follows and traps him in his cottage. Sir Roger turns his pistol on himself rather than be taken alive. Susie finds the “great love” in service for the cause of democracy and her country, with a greater love in sight.


Directed by D.W. Griffith

Starring Lilian Gish