Broken Blossoms

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Broken Blossoms  (1919) 
by David Llewelyn Wark Griffith
An American 1919 silent drama film starring Lilian Gish, based on Thomas Burke's short story "The Chink and the Child" from the 1916 collection Limehouse Nights. In 1989, this film was selected by the Library of Congress to be included in the first class of films for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Key (info)
Dialogue
In scene
Storyline

BROKEN
BLOSSOMS
OR
The Yellow Man
And The Girl

COPYRIGHT 1919 BY D. W. GRIFFITH

Adapted from
a story by
Thomas Burke

Under the Personal Direction of
D. W. Griffith
Photography by G. W. Bitzer

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Lucy, The Girl
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Miss Lilian Gish
The Yellow Man
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Mr. Richard Barthelmess
Courtesy of the Dorothy Gish Company
Battling Burrows
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Donald Crisp
His Manager
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Arthur Howard
Evil Eye
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Edward Peil
The Spying One
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
George Beranger
A Prizefighter
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Norman Selby

It is a tale of temple bells, sounding at sunset before the image of Buddha; it is a tale of love and lovers; it is a tale of tears.

We may believe there are no Battling Burrows, striking the helpless with brutal whip—but do we not ourselves use the whip of unkind words and deeds? So, perhaps, Battling may even carry a message of warning.

At the turn-stiles of the East—
The bund of a great Chinese treaty port.

Sky-larking American sailors.

The Yellow Man in the Temple of Buddha, before his contemplated journey to a foreign land.

Advice for a young man's conduct in the world—word for word such as a fond parent or guardian of our own land would give.

The Yellow Man holds a great dream to take the glorious message of peace to the barbarous Anglo-Saxons, sons of turmoil and strife.

"Do not give blows for blows. The Buddha says: 'What thou dost not want others to do to thee, do thou not to others'."

Just a sociable free fight for the Jackies—but the sensitive Yellow Man shrinks in horror.

The Yellow Man more than ever convinced that the great nations across the sea need the lessons of the gentle Buddha.

The day set for his departure to foreign shores.

Early morning in the Limehouse district of London, some years later.

Now—Limehouse knows him only as a Chink storekeeper.

CHENG HUAN

The Yellow Man's youthful dreams come to wreck against the sordid realities of life.

Broken bits of his life in his new home.

Chinese, Malays, Lascars,

where the Orient squats at the portals of the West.

In this scarlet house of sin, does he ever hear the temple bells?

Fantan, the Goddess of Chance.

The home of Lucy and Battling Burrows.

Fifteen years before one of the Battler's girls thrust into his arms a bundle of white rags—

So Lucy came to Limehouse.

Battling Burrows, an abysmal brute—a gorilla of the jungle of East London—gloating on his victory over the "Limehouse Tiger."

The manager's complaint about drink and women puts Battling in a rage—he cannot take his temper out on him—he saves it for a weaker object.

The Girl.

When not serving as a punching bag to relieve the Battler's feelings, the bruised little body may be seen creeping around the docks of Limehouse.

Lucy's surroundings have not been the most cheerful.—A married acquaintaince has told her—

"Whatever you do, dearie, don't get married."

Warned as strongly by the ladies of the street against their profession.

In every group there is one, weaker than the rest—the butt of uncouth wit or ill-temper.

Poor Lucy is one of these.

Lucy, as usual, receives the Battler's pent up brutishness.

"Don't whip me—don't!"

"Please, Daddy!—Don't!"

"Put a smile on yer face, can't yer?"

Poor Lucy, never having cause to smile, uses this pitiful excuse instead.

She has to wait—

—he can't stand poor table manners.

He orders his tea for five o'clock.

"Come on—give us a smile."

"My brothers leave for China tomorrow to convert the heathen."

"I—I wish him luck."

HELL

📖

The shopping trip.

Dearie
This aint much
but all I got to
leave you.
You might find
them some use
for your weddin.
The piece of silk
and the ribbon

Enough tin foil might get something extra.

The Yellow Man watched Lucy often. The beauty which all Limehouse missed smote him to the heart.

This child with tear-aged face—

Evil Eye also watches.

The Spirit of Beauty breaks her blossoms all about his chamber.

The manager horrified to find Battling at it again.

"Wot yer expect me to do—pick violets?"

Lucy's starved heart aches for the flower—

—but not quite enough tin foil.

The manager's protest against Burrow's dissipation sends him home in another rage.

"'Tain't five! 'Tain't five!"

His last meal before taking up training quarters across the river, for his return match with the Tiger.

The terrible accident.

"Pretend yer didn't do it on purpose! I'll learn yer!"

"Don't do it, Daddy! You'll hit me once too often—and then they'll—they'll hang yer!"

"Oh, look! Daddy! Dust on yer boots!"

After dim aeons—dumbly blindly, she struggles away from her house of suffering.

Returning from tea and noodles.

With perhaps a whiff of the lilied pipe still in his brain.

The first gentleness she has ever known.

Oh, lily flowers and plum blossoms!

Oh silver streams and dim-starred skies!

The room prepared as for a princess.

A magical robe treasured from an olden day.

She seems transformed—into the dark chambers of her incredulous, frightened little heart comes warmth, and light.

Blue and yellow silk caressing white skin—her beauty so long hidden shines out like a poem.

He dreams her prattle, her bird-like ways, her sweet self—are all his own.

"What makes you so good to me, Chinky?"

There he brings rays stolen from the lyric moon, and places them on her hair; and all night long he crouches, holding one grubby little hand.

Breathing in an amber flute to this alabaster cockney girl her love name—White Blossom.

Now there is one, a friend of Battling's, having some business in the Yellow Man's shop.

Change for half a crown.

Across the river, where Battling is training for his fight before the munition workers, comes the Spying One.

Battling discovers parental rights—

A Chink after his kid! He'll learn him!

Above all, Battling hates those not born in the same great country as himself.

The girl moves to go home—

—but decides to wait until tomorrow.

"Wait till I'm through with this fight tonight—I'll get 'em!"

His love remains a pure and holy thing—even his worst foe says this.

He goes to right his Honor—?

The lowering storm.

"You! With a dirty Chink!"

"'Tain't nothin' wrong! 'Tain't nothin' wrong! I fell down in the doorway and—it wasn't nothin' wrong!"

"I'll learn yer! I'll learn yer!"

Evil Eye investigates.

"Take them things off!"

The cloaking river mist.

Evil Eye gladly bears the news.

"Where is he?"

"Don't! Daddy! It wasn't nothin' wrong!"

"Open, I tell yer!"

"Don't, Daddy!—Don't! THEY'LL HANG YER!"

Dying, she gives her last little smile to the world that has been so unkind.

"Better than last week—Only forty thousand casualties."

As he smiles goodbye to White Blossom, all the tears of the ages rush over his heart.

T·H·EE·N·D


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.


The author died in 1948, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.