On October 14, 1893 Lillian Gish was born. The iconic actress would become known as the first woman of film. Today, there are many woman who are able to move up in the film industry because of her. In the 1920 film Way Down East she is able to prove why she deserves her place in history.
When rich boy Lennox “marries” poor girl Anna he finds himself in more than he bargained for when she winds up pregnant. After having a boy named Trust who tragically dies, Anna winds up wandering the streets until she finds employment. When her employers son falls for her, she rejects him because of her past. During Anna’s rejection of the young man, she finds that her ex is chasing after another girl whom she warns about Lennox. However, she doesn’t believe her. When Anna’s past is discovered by the distraught man, she is thrown out into the street. But, she does not do it before she exposes Lennox for who he is in the street as the father of her child who died. After learning that Anna is lost, David, the young man who has fallen for her, starts a search party in order to find her. He is able to find her floating on ice just in time to rescue her. In the end the two marry.
Lillian Gish may have portrayed many female characters that end up being damsels in distress. Yet, she was able to pave the way for women in film to come. On October 14. 1893 Lillian Gish was born with paving the way for women in future film before her to come.