True Heart Susie (1919) - Rotten Tomatoes

True Heart Susie1919

True Heart Susie (1919)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

True Heart Susie Photos

Movie Info

True Heart Susie is one of D.W. Griffith's "pastoral" films, wherein plot takes second place to characterization and romance. Lillian Gish plays Susie May Trueheart, who so loves local boy William Jenkins (Robert Harron) that she secretly finances his education. Returning to his home town as a minister, Jenkins never catches on that Susie is crazy for him. While Our Heroine pines away, Jenkins marries The Wrong Woman, young temptress Betty Hopkins (Clarine Seymour). Betty begins indulging in affairs with other men, but Susie loyally keeps this information from the reverend Jenkins. Even when Betty dies of pneumonia, Susie refuses to reveal all she's done on Jenkins' behalf. Finally, Susie's Aunt (Kate Bruce) can stand no more: she tells Jenkins the whole story, whereupon he takes Susie in his arms and pledges eternal devotion. In the hands of a lesser director, True Heart Susie might have been impossibly maudlin (and unbelievable; after all, can anyone be as much of a blockhead as Reverend Jenkins seems to be?) As it stands, the film's dramatic and heart-tugging value has not diminished, not even after the passage of nearly eighty years.


Lillian Gish
as True Heart Susie
Robert Harron
as William Jenkins
Loyola O'Connor
as Susie's aunt
Loyala O'Connor
as Susie's aunt
Wilbur Higby
as William's father
George Fawcett
as The Stranger
Kate Bruce
as Bettina's aunt
Walter Higby
as Jenkins's Father
Carol Dempster
as Bettina's Chum
Raymond Cannon
as Sporty Malone
View All

Critic Reviews for True Heart Susie

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

The psychological subtlety of the silent cinema owes much to a complex visual grammar that D. W. Griffith employed to tell surprisingly old-fashioned stories.

August 21, 2013

One of D.W. Griffith's most beautiful films, a pastoral fable of a sort that no one could ever make again, because the sensitivity and spirit have vanished along with the landscape.

August 19, 2013 | Full Review…

Griffith has handled the picture in the same masterly way that he usually has things done.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Once more, D. W. Griffith, ably assisted by [his cast and crew], has brought meaningful humanity to the screen, more nearly pure, less mixed with artificiality, than it has ever been in a motion picture play, except in other works of Mr. Griffith.

March 25, 2006 | Full Review…

All it satisfied in us was our intelligence, our artistic conscience. Somehow that more vital motion picture target, our heart -- rather an impressionable, not to say sentimental heart, at that -- was never really struck.

July 30, 2019 | Full Review…

An exceedingly old-fashioned, but quite appealing, silent romance, featuring one of Lillian Gish's finest performances.

August 19, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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