Hearts of the World (1918)

Drama | 12 March 1918

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HISTORY

D. W. Griffith sailed to England on 17 Mar 1917 after accepting a commission from Great Britain to depict in motion pictures "an authentic history of the World War," according to a news item. Cameraman G. W. Bitzer and actors Robert Harron, Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish arrived in England on 8 Jun 1917. Griffith stayed in Europe until Oct 1917 shooting scenes with the cooperation of the British War Office and the French government in France, Belgium and Great Britain, some of which were incorporated into Hearts of the World . Modern sources state that Bitzer, because of his German ancestry and name, was not allowed in France and that Griffith used an Army cameraman instead.
       Most of Hearts of the World was shot after Griffith's return to the United States at the D. W. Griffith Studio in Hollywood. The film had a pre-release showing under the title Love's Struggle on 15 Feb 1918, and had its premiere at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles on 12 Mar 1918. It opened in New York on 4 Apr 1918 and was later released on a road show basis, under the management of Elliott, Comstock and Gest. After this, the film was released on a state rights basis.
       Because the Pennsylvania Board of Censors ordered that seven scenes which depicted brutality be cut, the Philadelphia opening was cancelled. A "peace edition" of the film, containing several additional scenes, opened in New York on 11 Aug 1919 as the third offering in the D. W. Griffith Repertory Season at the George M. Cohan Theatre. M. Gaston de Tolignac and Captain ... More Less

D. W. Griffith sailed to England on 17 Mar 1917 after accepting a commission from Great Britain to depict in motion pictures "an authentic history of the World War," according to a news item. Cameraman G. W. Bitzer and actors Robert Harron, Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish arrived in England on 8 Jun 1917. Griffith stayed in Europe until Oct 1917 shooting scenes with the cooperation of the British War Office and the French government in France, Belgium and Great Britain, some of which were incorporated into Hearts of the World . Modern sources state that Bitzer, because of his German ancestry and name, was not allowed in France and that Griffith used an Army cameraman instead.
       Most of Hearts of the World was shot after Griffith's return to the United States at the D. W. Griffith Studio in Hollywood. The film had a pre-release showing under the title Love's Struggle on 15 Feb 1918, and had its premiere at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles on 12 Mar 1918. It opened in New York on 4 Apr 1918 and was later released on a road show basis, under the management of Elliott, Comstock and Gest. After this, the film was released on a state rights basis.
       Because the Pennsylvania Board of Censors ordered that seven scenes which depicted brutality be cut, the Philadelphia opening was cancelled. A "peace edition" of the film, containing several additional scenes, opened in New York on 11 Aug 1919 as the third offering in the D. W. Griffith Repertory Season at the George M. Cohan Theatre. M. Gaston de Tolignac and Captain Victor Marier were pseudonyms for D. W. Griffith. The film included shots of Rene Raphael Viviani, the French premier and minister of foreign affairs, and Sir Edward Grey, the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, addressing their respective parliaments in Aug 1914. According to the 1921 MPSD , Erich O. H. Von Stroheim was involved in this film in some manner. Modern sources credit him with technical supervision.
       According to modern sources, Famous Players-Lasky Corp. financed the film. Modern sources add the following credits: European photography, D. P. Cooper; film editors, James and Rose Smith; music arrangements, Carli Elinor and D. W. Griffith; additional cast members, Mary Hay as a dancer and Erich von Stroheim as a German soldier. Var noted that Lillian Gish's authentic peasant dress was created by Nathan of London. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ETR
30 Mar 18
p. 1365.
ETR
21 Sep 18
p. 1298.
Life
18 Apr 18
p. 642.
MPC
24 Aug 18
p. 1018.
MPN
20 Apr 18
p. 2337.
MPN
17 Jan 20
p. 890.
MPW
13 Apr 18
p. 228.
MPW
20 Apr 18
pp. 369-70.
MPW
11 May 18
p. 835.
MPW
18 May 18
p. 986.
MPW
15 Jun 18
p. 1598.
MPW
26 May 17
p. 1289.
MPW
23 Jun 17
p. 1946.
MPW
3 Nov 17
pp. 680-81.
New York Times
5 Apr 18
p. 13.
New York Times
12 Aug 19
p. 7.
NYDM
30 Mar 18
p. 33., 6664
NYDM
13 Apr 18
p. 513.
NYDM
20 Apr 18
p. 552.
Photoplay
Jun 18
p. 48, 111
Variety
15 Mar 18
p. 47, 49
Variety
29 Mar 18
p. 49.
Variety
12 Apr 18
pp. 2-3, 43
Variety
7 Jun 18
p. 37.
Wid's
12 May 18
pp. 31-32.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Translated into English by
PHOTOGRAPHY
2d cam
MUSIC
Mus accompaniment arr by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Love's Struggle
Release Date:
12 March 1918
Copyright Claimant:
David W. Griffith
Copyright Date:
12 March 1918
Copyright Number:
LP12521
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After a prologue which shows director D. W. Griffith setting up a camera in the British front lines under the auspices of the British War Official Cinematograph Committee, meeting war correspondents and shaking hands with David Lloyd George, Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street in London, the story begins. In a little village in northern France, Marie Stephenson falls in love with Douglas Gordon Hamilton, the eldest of an American artist's four sons. The romance is threatened when Marie sees a street singer called the Little Disturber embracing Douglas, but he soon explains that his heart really belongs to Marie and the two are reunited. The Little Disturber finally accepts the attentions of Monsieur Cuckoo, while Douglas and Marie become engaged. With the outbreak of World War I, Douglas, Monsieur Cuckoo and the village carpenter join the French army, and while they fight on a nearby battlefield, the village is shelled and occupied by the Germans. After the deaths of her mother and grandfather, Marie, demented, wanders through the ruined village in her wedding gown until she finds Douglas lying wounded and unconscious on the ground. Although Marie believes him dead, he eventually regains his health at the Red Cross hospital and later infiltrates the German lines as a spy. In the village, the Germans brutally mistreat the townspeople, and Douglas' mother finally collapses and dies. Douglas returns to the village and hides in Marie's room, but is discovered by a German sergeant, who reports his presence to the brutal and lecherous von Strohm. The Germans are about to enter the room when the French retake the village and ... +


After a prologue which shows director D. W. Griffith setting up a camera in the British front lines under the auspices of the British War Official Cinematograph Committee, meeting war correspondents and shaking hands with David Lloyd George, Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street in London, the story begins. In a little village in northern France, Marie Stephenson falls in love with Douglas Gordon Hamilton, the eldest of an American artist's four sons. The romance is threatened when Marie sees a street singer called the Little Disturber embracing Douglas, but he soon explains that his heart really belongs to Marie and the two are reunited. The Little Disturber finally accepts the attentions of Monsieur Cuckoo, while Douglas and Marie become engaged. With the outbreak of World War I, Douglas, Monsieur Cuckoo and the village carpenter join the French army, and while they fight on a nearby battlefield, the village is shelled and occupied by the Germans. After the deaths of her mother and grandfather, Marie, demented, wanders through the ruined village in her wedding gown until she finds Douglas lying wounded and unconscious on the ground. Although Marie believes him dead, he eventually regains his health at the Red Cross hospital and later infiltrates the German lines as a spy. In the village, the Germans brutally mistreat the townspeople, and Douglas' mother finally collapses and dies. Douglas returns to the village and hides in Marie's room, but is discovered by a German sergeant, who reports his presence to the brutal and lecherous von Strohm. The Germans are about to enter the room when the French retake the village and rescue Douglas and Marie. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.