~The Wind~
~Lillian Gish~
~Plot Synopsis~
The Wind, Victor Sjostrom's final American film, is a western only in its locale: its symbolism-laden story
of physical and spiritual repression, culminating in a violent, hysterical outburst, has more in common
with the European or Scandanavian cinema than with the usual MGM product. Lillian Gish plays a
sheltered Virginia girl who heads to Texas to live with her male cousin and his family. Upon arriving at her
new home-actually little more than a squalid shack-she is treated as an unwelcome interloper. Even
worse is the omnipresecent wind, which howls ceaselessly all around. To quell the jealousy of her cousin's
wife, Lillian marries cowboy Lars Hanson, but this impulsive union seems foredoomed from the start.
During Hanson's absence, Lillian is visited by former suitor Montague Love. With rape on his mind, Love
laughs derisively as Lillian aims a pistol at his midsection. His laughter ceases when she pulls the trigger
(the killing is subtly conveyed by a cutaway to a sand-covered plate, which jiggles slightly from the impact
of the shot). In near hysteria, she drags the dead man outside and buries him, the mercilessly wind
whipping and buffetting her about. Locking herself in the shack, Lillian looks out the window--and, in
fascinated horror, sees Love's body "emerging" from the constantly shifting sands. In the film's original
ending, Lillian goes completely mad, wandering blindly into the desert. Preview audiences were revolted
by this denoument, so the film now ends with Larson's return and a happy reconciliation (reportedly,
director Sjostrom's original cut is still available from European sources). In later years, Lillian Gish
recalled The Wind as the toughest, most unpleasant picture she ever worked on. The location scenes were
shot in the Mojave Desert, where the combination of relentless heat and artificially induced windstorms
made working conditions virtually intolerable. At one point, Ms. Gish absentmindedly clutched the metal
handle of her car's door-immediately incurring a second-degree burn. Adapted by Frances Marion from a
novel by Dorothy Scarborough, The Wind, despite its artistic merit, was a box-office disappointment,
resulting in a parting of the ways between Lillian Gish and MGM.

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
Directed by: Victor Sjöström

Written by: Frances Marion - scenario

Based on the novel The Wind by Dorothy Scarborough (New York & London,

Lillian Gish ...  Letty
Lars Hanson ...  Lige
Montagu Love ...  Roddy
Dorothy Cumming ...  Cora
Edward Earle ...  Beverly
William Orlamond ...  Sourdough
Carmencita Johnson ...  Cora's Child
Leon Janney ...  Cora's Child
Billy Kent Schaefer ...  Cora's Child
Cullen Johnson ...  Little boy (uncredited)
Seessel Anne Johnson ...  Little girl (uncredited)
~The Remaining Credits~

Produced & Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Cinematography by: John Arnold  
Film Editing by: Conrad A. Nervig    
Set Decorations by: Cedric Gibbons & Edward Withers  
Assistant Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Wardrobe: André-ani
Title Designer: John Colton
Lillian Gish Stand-in:
Una Merkel - uncredited

Length: 8 Reels
Runtime: 79 Minutes
Released: November 23 1928