Lillian Gish


Directed by                     Victor Seastrom
Produced by                   Andre Paulve, Fred Orain
Screenplay by                 Frances Marion
Based on                          The Wind by Dorothy Scarborough
Starring                            Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
Cinematography             John Arnold
Editing by                        Conrad A. Nervig
Distributed by                 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date                     November 23, 1928
Running time                   78 mins
Country                            United States
Language                          Silent, English intertitles


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 2023.

"The Wind" (1928) is a critically acclaimed drama starring Lillian Gish. This film illustrates the work of our star director Victor Seastrom. 

Letty, played by Lillian Gish, is a young woman relocating from Virginia to her cousin's home in the prairies.  In the train she is approached by Wirt, a middle-aged man, who tells her that where she is going the wind never stops blowing and this drives people, especially women, crazy.  Letty doesn't believe him, and is full of optimism for the future.  Wirt is a traveling merchant and tells Letty he will be in touch.

Letty is taken to the ranch by Lige (Lars Hanson), her cousin's neighbor.  She is warmly welcomed by her cousin, who was raised in her mother's home and who is like a brother to her.  Her cousin's wife, however, doesn't like at all the warm relations between her husband and Letty.  She is suspicious of everything Letty does, including being nice to her children.  As time goes by, the cousin's wife grows increasingly antagonistic towards Letty.

Day and night strong winds carrying sand blow across the area and Letty very much troubled by this dreary place.

One night at the town's dance party Letty is courted both by Lige and by his buddy.  Then when Wirt shows up Letty stops by to say "Hi", but unexpectedly for her he asks her to leave with him for the East.  At that moment a tornado almost strikes the house, and Letty is hesitating whether to stay in this inhospitable place or to go. 

Amid her hesitation her cousin's wife viciously confronts her, telling her to get out of her home.  Letty decides to leave with Wirt, but backs off when he tells her that he is a married man.  Her cousin's wife tells her to get married to one of her two suitors as her only choice.

Letty marries Lige, but he realizes that she does not love him and decides to save money and send her back home East.  Then one day the ranchers bring to her home an injured man, who turns out to be Wirt.  As he recovers, and in the absence of Lige, Wirt tries forcefully to make Letty leave with him.  When she refuses, he becomes violent and Letty fatally shoots him in self-defense.

All the while hurricane-strong winds hammer the area, smashing windows and violently shaking the house.  Letty seems to fulfill Wirt's prediction and appears to slowly lose her mind.

Then Lige returns home and Letty sees him altogether differently.  She tells him that she wants to stay and that she loves him.  Lige asks: "Aren't you going to be afraid of the wind all the time?"  Letty replies: "Now I am not afraid of anything".

The film is ranked number 13 in the list of The Top 100 Silent Era Films of the influential website Silent Era.

In 1993 the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."  The film enjoys a very strong rating in IMDB.  


The Wind (1928) on IMDb

 Click to enlarge:

Lillian Gish in The Wind 1928 director Victor Seastrom 62

   Lillian Gish