of human hearts

DVD Review: Of Human Hearts (1938)

Roughly a decade before the Civil War, Reverend Ethan Wilkins (Walter Huston) accepts a position ministering to an isolated, poverty-stricken town in Ohio called Pine Hill. Though the townspeople had promised to pay Ethan an annual salary of $400, he is informed upon his arrival that they cannot afford to pay him that much, and…

la boheme 1926

Tragic Love in the Latin Quarter: Lillian Gish and La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 Italian opera La bohème has seen many forms in the century since its first performance in Turin. The story–itself borrowed from Henri Murger’s 1851 collection Scènes de la vie de bohème–has been retold in many forms, with and without the music. It’s been made into films, produced in countless venues featuring storied performers like…

An Invitation to Despair

For this week’s entry in the Maudlin Mondays series, I chose to watch the 1952 film Invitation, mainly because of its star, Dorothy McGuire, who plays the role of Ellen Pierce. A few days ago, I watched The Enchanted Cottage, also starring McGuire. In The Enchanted Cottage, she plays a kind, plain-looking young woman who falls in love; in Invitation, she…