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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Friday, August 18, 2006


Donald CrispDONALD CRISP (1882-1974), born George William Crisp in London, England, immigrated to the United States as a young man. His first known film appearance was in 1908. He drifted to the Biograph Company where he served as actor, director and writer. In 1915 he was one of D. W. Griffith's assistant directors on Birth Of A Nation. In 1949, he produced Africa Screams for Abbott and Costello. He was a loved and respected figure in Hollywood for years and continued acting until his last film in 1963. He was a powerful actor who made a strong impression in his films.

Broken Blossoms (1919)Haven't you seen Broken Blossoms (1919)? Crisp portrays Battling Barrows, a boxer who is the brutal father of Lillian Gish. The sequence where he tries to get her to come out of a cupboard is one of the most frightening scenes on film. He is one of the truly great screen villains in this film.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

How Green Was My Valley (1941) Crisp is Gwilym Morgan, the tough but fair father of a clan of Welsh miners. His love and courage are demonstrated as the force holding the family together. Another great performance, and the direct opposite of Battling Barrows.
Spencer's Mountain (1963) Earl Hamner Jr.'s first dramatization of the story that eventually became "The Waltons" is set in the contemporary West. The family head is Henry Fonda and Donald Crisp movingly portrays his father in this, Crisp's final film.
The Man From Laramie (1955) Crisp is a cattle baron who tries to protect his worthless son, played by Alex Nicol. James Stewart stars.
The Black Pirate (1926) Crisp plays MacTavish, a one-armed pirate who befriends hero Douglas Fairbanks.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Thurs, Aug 17 2006 / 10:53:37 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1941 Won Best Actor in a Supporting Role: HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY