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The Long Road (1911)

Edith enters a convent after losing her fiancé to someone else. Years later, Edith finds him again, now poverty-stricken, and secretly helps his family.


D.W. Griffith




Credited cast:
Blanche Sweet ... Edith
Grace Henderson Grace Henderson ... Edith's Mother
Charles West Charles West ... Ned
Claire McDowell ... Ned's Wife
Edna Foster ... Ned's Son
Kate Bruce ... Mother Superior
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edwin August ... At Party
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... At Party
Donald Crisp ... A Servant / The Landlord
Edward Dillon ... In Bar
Frank Evans Frank Evans ... Wedding Guest / In Bar
Joseph Graybill ... In Bar
Robert Harron ... Family Friend
Guy Hedlund ... The Butler (unconfirmed)
Dell Henderson ... Wedding Guest


At a garden party, Edith, in a spirit of coquetry, arouses the jealousy of Neil, her fiancé, who, taking her action seriously, gives a parasol, which he intended as a present for her, to another girl. This induces a quarrel, and both stubborn, the break is never mended. Hence, he marries the other girl. Heart-crushed, Edith seeks solace in the convent of a Sister of Mercy. Sometime later, fate ordains it that she be assigned to embroider the layette of Ned's first baby, a task often undertaken by the Sisters. This, you may imagine, is a terrible ordeal, but there is no help for it and the task is finished, which brings about the first meeting since the day of the garden fete between the two women. Several years later, while Edith is working among the poor of the East Side, she is startled by the sound of a shot, and following a small boy into the saloon from whence the sound came, finds Ned, who, having suffered business reverses, and become a hopeless drunkard, the accidental victim ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama







Release Date:

26 October 1911 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Destiny's Roadway with Its Many Turns See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

It keeps a pretty high average all through
12 May 2016 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

This picture is a life portrayal more because its significance is true of human hearts, than because the outward incidents that are utilized are probable. Some of them are not probable, yet in the picture they are made convincing. In all of its scenes the artistic faculty of a true "maker." in the Carlylian sense, is plain. The picture from first to last is full of beauty. There is, indeed, so much in it, and its subordinate parts, often extremely beautiful in themselves, are so strongly kept auxiliary to the action, that one feels, after he has seen the drama, that it would be pleasant to view the scenes again, slowly and disconnectedly, as works of art, for the sake of the detail. For instance, there is a scene in a convent. Two or three sisters are in the foreground talking; one is holding a baby's layette. The situation depicted is poignant and demands one's whole attention. Not until this situation is completely unfolded does the spectator's eye notice that, in the background, there is a spiritual-faced sister at an embroidery frame, making of her work a ceremony. He notices it only as the scene is slipping away to give place to the next. Perfection on the formal plan is not of primary importance and those who attain to it are apt to get nothing else. Both "The Winter's Tale" and "Robinson Crusoe" are very faulty when judged by formal perfection. This picture is faulty, but it is valuable for its humanity. The first scene shows a little quarrel of two lovers. Pride in both widens the breach till the man marries another, and the girl enters a convent of the Sisters of Mercy and takes up good works as a vocation. The man suffers financial reverses, hasn't the character to bear up against them, goes the downward course till he is shot, by accident, in a saloon on the city's lower East Side. This is the weakest part of the story; it is in fact, conventional, or at least, seems so. The object of the scenario in picturing him thus was to furnish scenes that would bring the nun in her lowly ministrations directly in contact with the man and his family, particularly at the time of the man's death, for the sake of showing its effect upon her, of showing her heart. One feels that it was the easiest way to do it, and that perhaps a better, truer way might have been found, though one must admit that it was possible as pictured, and it was the surest way, perhaps. The great beauty of the picture lies in what the producer has been able to make his players show. He had very excellent material to work with. Especially fine is the scene in the church during the wedding ceremony. The center of interest is the girl and the way her character reacts in the situation. The young lady who takes this part very skillfully portrays a conflict of emotions bordering on hysteria. In previous scenes she has amply prepared us for just this. The effect is heightened by the girl's mother, who sits beside her, thoroughly understanding, apprehensive, on guard. It is mighty fine. If all the pictures had been as true as this it would have stood as a work of art unashamed beside our very best. As it is, it keeps a pretty high average all through. - The Moving Picture World, November 4, 1911

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