AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Way Down East
Director: D. W. Griffith (Under the personal dir of)
Release Date:   3 Sep 1920
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Cast: Lillian Gish  (Anna Moore)
  Richard Barthelmess  (David Bartlett)
  Lowell Sherman  (Lennox Sanderson)
 

Summary: Faced with financial difficulties, innocent country girl Anna Moore goes to visit her rich Boston relatives, the Tremonts, to seek aid. There she becomes the victim of a false marriage to playboy Lennox Sanderson. Deserted by the man she thought was her husband, Anna is left penniless and alone to face the birth of her nameless child. After her mother's death, Anna takes refuge in a rooming house in Belden where her baby dies. Turned out by an unsympathetic landlady, the brokenhearted mother finds employment at the farm of Squire Bartlett, a stern but just man, who believes in a strict accounting for sin. The squire's son David falls in love with Anna, and she is about to accept her new found happiness when Sanderson appears and the squire learns that Anna had lived with him in sin. He turns the girl from the house in a blinding snow storm, and hysterical, she stumbles onto the frozen river where she faints. Her rescue by David from the drifting ice and certain death brings about their union after the squire and his wife learn Anna's true story. 

Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.
Production Company: D. W. Griffith, Inc.
Director: D. W. Griffith (Under the personal dir of)
Producer: D. W. Griffith (Pres)
Writer: Anthony Paul Kelly (Scen)

Subject Major: Country girls
  Desertion (Marital)
  Illegitimacy
  Marriage--Fake
  Reputation
 
Subject Minor: Boardinghouses
  Boston (MA)
  Farmers
  Farms
  Ice floes
  Landladies
  Playboys
  Poverty
  Pregnancy
  Rescues
  Rivers
  Snow storms
  Upper classes

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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