Lillian-Gish-and-Norman-Kerry-in-Annie-Laurie-director-John-S-Robertson-1927-00 

   Norman Kerry and Lillian Gish

 

Directed by                John S. Robertson
Produced by              MGM
Written by                 Josephine Lovett
Starring                      Lillian Gish, Norman Kerry, Creighton Hale, Patricia Avery, Brandon Hurst
Cinematography       Oliver Marsh
Editing by                   William Hamilton
Distributed by            MGM
Release date                May 11, 1927
Running time              99 minutes
Country                       US
Language                     Silent film

 

We have included this film in our program to illustrate the work and contributions of our star director John S. Robertson.

The film is still under copyright, which prevents us from streaming it on our site.  We will be able to show you this masterpiece in 2022.  Hopefully by then a cleaner print will become available.  The only copy that can be watched right now was made with a cam from a TV screen and has a timer running at the bottom and a shaky image.

"Annie Laurie" is a powerful historical drama superbly directed by John Robertson starring Lillian Gish and Norman Kerry. This is the first of three outstanding films created by John Robertson in 1927, when he started working for MGM. The other two are "Captain Salvation" and "The Road to Romance", both starring Marceline Day.

The film tells the story of the feud between two Scottish clans - Campbell and MacDonald - and its tragic climax in the Massacre of Glencoe.

Annie Laurie (Lillian Gish) is close to the Campbells, where her cousin Enid (Patricia Avery) urges her to marry her brother Donald (Creighton Hale).  Both girls regard the men from the enemy clan as savages, but one day Enid is captured by MacDonald warriors and taken away.  When the two clans meet to negotiate, to everybody's astonishment Enid refuses to return home, declaring that she is in love with a MacDonald man. The chieftain of the Campbells (Brandon Hurst) curses his daughter and wishes her and her future children gloom and doom for the whole crowd to see.

Annie Laurie later meets Ian MacDonald (Norman Kerry) and in spite of her prejudice is conquered by his strength and personality. The two fall in love, but unlike Enid Annie hesitates and refuses to follow Ian, who is then brutally tortured by Donald Campbell and his soldiers.

In the meantime the chieftain of the Campbells plays a successful mind game against his enemies. He does not disclose to them the terms of the agreement proposed by the king, according to which the MacDonald clan will recover all its lands if they sign by January 1st.  However, if MacDonald refuses to sign, as happens in reality, the king has authorized the Campbell chieftain to annihilate his enemies.

Annie Laurie learns about this clause and makes a desperate effort to warn Ian MacDonald, whom she still loves, and save his people.  Ian, however, holds such a grudge that he won't listen to Annie, gets drunk and ridicules her.  Somehow she is able to get her message across, and Ian dashes through a storm to sign the agreement, but is five days late.

Donald Campbell accepts in words that the delay is due to the storm, but has something sinister in mind, knowing that the king will not punish him for exterminating the enemy clan for being late.  When the MacDonalds open their castle of Glencoe to the Campbells to celebrate the signed peace with them, Donald kills the chieftain of the hosts and leads an attack to annihilate the whole MacDonald clan.  Ian organizes a heroic resistance,  in which he is helped by Annie, who manages to light the beacon and call for help. With Ian MacDonald in the lead the defenders counterattack and defeat their double-crossing enemies.

In the end the victorious MacDonalds recover all their lands and property by decree of the king. Annie Laurie parts with her father and happily follows Ian MacDonald.

 

The film has a very strong rating in IMDB. 

Annie Laurie (1927) on IMDb

 

Click to enlarge:

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   Norman Kerry