6.9/10
366
17 user 3 critic

The White Sister (1923)

A young woman becomes a nun when she believes her sweetheart has been killed, but things get complicated when he returns alive.

Director:

Henry King
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Wind (1928)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Susie, a plain young country girl, secretly loves a neighbor boy, William. She believes in him and sacrifices much of her own happiness to promote his own ambitions, all without his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Wilbur Higby
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
Way Down East (1920)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After having a child out of wedlock, a young Puritan woman is pressured to reveal the name of her lover.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B. Walthall
La Bohème (1926)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of starving artists try to survive in 1830s Paris, including a seamstress and the would-be playwright she loves.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Lillian Gish, John Gilbert, Renée Adorée
Romola (1924)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In Renaissance Florence, Tito, a no-good young man pretending to be a scholar, wins the admiration of a blind man who has long looked for someone to finish his scholarly work. He has a ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, William Powell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An orphan girl is given shelter by a farm family, but soon finds herself in the clutches of a murderous farmer and his wife.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Ralph Graves
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Young lovers in a French village are torn apart with the coming of the Great War.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Robert Harron
Lucky Star (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lillian Gish ... Angela Chiaromonte
Ronald Colman ... Capt. Giovanni Severini
Gail Kane ... Marchesa di Mola
J. Barney Sherry ... Monsignor Saracinesca
Charles Lane Charles Lane ... Prince Chiaromonte
Juliette La Violette Juliette La Violette ... Madame Bernard
Gustavo Serena ... Prof. Ugo Severi (as Signor Serena)
Alfredo Bertone Alfredo Bertone ... Filmore Durand
Roman Ibanez Roman Ibanez ... Count del Ferice
Alfredo Martinelli Alfredo Martinelli ... Alfredo del Ferice
Ida Carloni Talli Ida Carloni Talli ... Mother Superior (as Carloni Talli)
Giovanni Viccola Giovanni Viccola ... Gen. Mazzini
Antonio Barda Antonio Barda ... Alfredo's Tutor
Giacomo D'Attino Giacomo D'Attino ... Solicitor to the Prince
Michele Gualdi Michele Gualdi ... Solicitor to Count
Edit

Storyline

Lillian Gish is the daughter of a rich Italian count who is killed in a fall from his horse. Though Lillian stands to inherit a large estate, her older half-sister burns the will and thus inherits the property herself, throwing Lillian into poverty. Fortunately, she is engaged to marry the dashing officer Ronald Coleman, but he is captured by Arabs on an expedition to Africa. Dedicating her life to his memory, Lillian becomes a nun, unaware that her lover has escaped his captors and returning to Italy! The climax takes place against a backdrop of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Written by Ed Lengel <egl2r@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LILLIAN GISH! What a flood of pleasant memories rushes along at the mere mention of her name! YOU sympathized with her in "The Birth of a Nation." YOU suffered with her in "Hearts of the World." YOU pitied her in "Broken Blossoms." YOU cried over her in "Orphans of the Storm." YOU actually cheered her in "Way Down East." Now when you see her in Henry King's production of "The White Sister" you will be thrilled, captivated, and exalted as never before. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 September 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die weiße Schwester See more »

Filming Locations:

Algeria See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$657,532
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Inspiration Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Capt. Giovanni Severini: It was my great love for you - but now - now I know you belong to God alone. I-I will never see you again...
Angela Chiaromonte: Until God's Great Tomorrow.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Hard Habit to Break
18 December 2007 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

In Italy, the Lordly volcano Vesuvius "waves his plume of peace to a smiling city in the valley". Of course, the volcano is, in actuality, "a seething ferment of unrest." The city is equally dominated by the wealthy Chiaromonte family, who live in a monstrous palace. Among them are half-sisters Lillian Gish (as Angela) and Gail Kane (as Marchesa). Ms. Gish is in love with young Ronald Colman (as Govanni Severini); and, they plan to marry. The sisters' father Charles Lane (as Prince Chiaromonte), when not focusing on his devotionals, likes to ride horses; unfortunately, he falls off his horse, and dies.

Wicked sister Kane destroys the Prince's will; and, in the eyes of The Law and The Church, inherits everything. Bad becomes worse when the Catholic church refuses to recognize the deceased Prince's second marriage, which produced Gish; so the wedding with Colman becomes a not-so-blessed event. Finally, Kane throws Gish out of the palace. Later, poverty-stricken Gish is reunited with her beloved Captain Colman. They plan to wed when he returns from a mission to Africa; but, he is reportedly killed, fighting Arab bandits. Then, Gish becomes a nun. When her more earthly intended turns up alive, Gish must choose between her spiritual husband, Jesus Christ, and the physical Ronald Colman…

Way too long, and directorially unfocused, Henry King's "The White Sister" does not reach its lofty expectations. There are, however, some extraordinarily beautiful scenes; and, the lead performances are excellent. The film seems relatively "reverential", considering the subject matter; though, Colman rails against, "The tyranny of the church - enslaving women who should be wives and mothers!" Undoubtedly, Gish and King were familiar with the original portrayal of "The White Sister", by Viola Allen, on stage (1909) and screen (1915), and sought to bring the story to more "epic" proportions. It appears as if water replaced the more difficult to film lava, for the less-than-climatic finish.

******* The White Sister (9/5/23) Henry King ~ Lillian Gish, Ronald Colman, Gail Kane, J. Barney Sherry


16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed