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The film is subtitled A Simple Story of Plain People with director Griffith intending that its sweeping lyrical but epic style would convey an image of a vanished unspoiled pastoral America It is a simple timeless allegory of plain everyday people in a story which attacks prejudice and bigotry Lillian Gishs performance as Anna Moore is superb and flawless beautifully photographed as having an inner light and spirituality Moving authentic and intense she expresses the full range of emotions from a young fragile and innocent country girl in the big city to an ecstatically-infatuated new bride to a betrayed wife to a bereaved unwed mother and then into a matured woman The opening title cards Since the beginning of time man has been polygamous - even the saints of Biblical history - but the Son of Man gave a new thought and the world is growing nearer the true ideal He gave of One Man for One Woman Not by laws - our Statutes are now overburdened by ignored laws - but within the heart of man the truth must bloom that his greatest happiness lies in his purity and constancy Today Woman brought up from childhood to expect ONE CONSTANT MATE possibly suffers more than at any other point in the history of mankind because not yet has the man-animal reached this high standard - except perhaps in theory If there is anything in this story that brings home to men the suffering caused by our selfishness perhaps it will not be in vain Time and place - in the story world of make-believe Characters - nowhere - yet everywhere Incidents - never occurred - yet always happening The supposed setting of the film is a remote village in New England - the scene is of a gently rolling grassy hill a wooded landscape on the banks of a river a few white farmhouses surrounded by hedges
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