Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Way Down East (1920)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Way Down East (1920)

In D.W. Griffith's silent melodrama:

  • the spiritually affecting performance of Anna Moore (played marvelously by Lillian Gish)
  • the scene of the young, innocent country girl's ecstatic reaction to a marriage proposal, soon followed by the scene in which her playboy "husband" Lennox Sanderson (Lowell Sherman) revealed that her marriage was only a mock ceremony
  • the sequence in which Anna baptized her sick, newborn baby just before it died in her arms
  • the innocent love scene by the river between Anna and David (Richard Barthelmess) with the title card: "One heart for one heart, One soul for one soul, One love for one love, Even through Eternity" - but Anna was reluctant to fall in love with David when reminded of the ghosts of her past - she sadly could not allow him to say such things, feeling unworthy of him due to her checkered past: "So she tells him he must never speak like this again"
  • the classic casting-out scene in which she accused and denounced Sanderson before entering into a fierce blizzard
  • the final sequence of her daring, last-minute rescue by David from floating ice floes that were perilously close to a precipitous waterfall


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z