Starring Richard Barthelmess and Carol Dempster
November, 1920

Five years ago David Wark Griffith kept his own counsel and made "The Birth of a Nation." Today he takes double-page advertisements in the Saturday Evening Post to tell about "The Love Flower." This new Griffith release is, admittedly, a "short story"; it makes no pretensions to greatness. But, even so, it is not Griffith. It might have been done by any one of our lesser directors. It has beautiful moments in photography, a heart-throb or two, a bit of young love. It has vague references to "the Law." On the other hand, it has no real drama, small suspense. As is usual in the later Griffith essays, we have a careful introduction to our principals; a painstaking planting of atmosphere -- and then, for three reels, nothing. Nothing, that is, but some gorgeous scenery and one gorgeous girl. If Mr. Griffith wishes us to become well acquainted with his latest discovery, he will not be disappointed. We have seen Carol Dempster through the misty close-up and under water; we have seen her outlined against the sky, the wind whipping her filmy costume about her. We have seen her one expression for love, hate, fear, and the other cardinal emotions. As an actress, Miss Dempster is an excellent highdiver. But she may have doubled; we never thought of that. There is one thing to be thankful for: the villain, such as he is, does not desire the heroine. He confines himself to hounding her father, who is finely drawn by George McQuarrie. Richard Barthelmess plays a young man of wealth who is sailing round the world looking for adventure. Does he find it? Perhaps not -- but he has an opportunity to win Carol and many close-ups. Griffith really went to a southern isle to get atmosphere for this, but his "Broken Blossoms," made in Hollywood, had more of the breath of the Orient than this has of the South Seas. That delicacy and poetry he used to give us are absent. You will go to see it; perhaps you will be entertained. But in a year which also presents "Earthbound," it will make no great impression.

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