The Silent Screen #3

The Guilt of Others (1919) BSO by Louis F.Gottschalk

Broken Blossoms (The Guilt of Others, 1919)
93'. B&W. D.W. Griffith (United Artists). Direction: David Wallace Griffith. Script: D.W. Griffith (story by Thomas Burke). Photograph: G.W. Bitzer. Special effects: Hendrick Sartov. Music: Louis F. Gottschalk.

Louis Ferdinand Gottschalk (October 7, 1864 - July 15, 1934)

Gottschalk was first and foremost a great artist. Regarding his personality as a virtuoso and creator, our generation should not judge lightly. Gottschalk was the son of a period in which interpretative activity prevailed, favored by the improvement of the mechanism and the sonority of the piano, of that period that followed the fervor of the legitimate romantic salon and that has lost, like everything that had its algidity, its flavor, its consistency, its propulsion, its vitality. Along with him many names emerged -all of them musicians of intense professional preparation- that today belong to the shadows that populate the musical past of the third plane: Kalkbrenner, Hummel, Herz, Thalberg, Field and perhaps half a dozen more names that grew up under the all-too-intense shadow of the great predecessors.

Gottschalk he devoted himself to a promising career as a virtuoso. The same successes pointed the way and from triumph to triumph he ran like a garland a series of compositions that represented the most faithful reflection of the medium.

He was a pioneer of original film music, largely due to his work with independent filmmaker L. Frank Baumfor whom he composed the musical, The Tik-Tok Man of Ozto Baum's script, which the producer Oliver Moros He co-decided not to bring it to Broadway after a modest success in Los Angeles. The show was performed in 1913 and closed in early 1914, at which point it Baum and Gottschalk discussed how to become involved in the nascent film industry that had sprung up in Hollywoodwhere they were both living at the time.

Baumas president, with Gottschalkas vice-president, Harry Marston Haldeman as secretary, and Clarence R. Rundel as treasurer, founded The Oz Film Manufacturing Company in 1914 as an outgrowth of the social group of men from Haldeman, The Uplifterswhich met in Los Angeles Athletic Club. As co-producer, Gottschalk composed the first feature films.

After the company Oz dissolved, Gottschalk worked with DW Griffithorganized reference sheets for Broken Blossoms (1919) and composed a score for Orphans of the Storm (1921). Other important films for which he contributed scores include. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse, The three musketeers, Little Mr. Fauntleroy (all of 1921) and Romola (1924). He composed a score for A Woman of Paris (1923) by Charles Chaplinbut Chaplin replaced it with a score of his own when Chaplin re-released the film in 1976.

Broken Blossoms (1919)

After the spectacularity and colossalism that made his name popular, Griffith gave another demonstration of his talent and sensitivity with a film of extreme simplicity, produced on a small budget.

"Broken Blossoms."Although it was shot on small sets, it achieved a prodigious atmosphere. And it became one of the best dramas ever produced. Hollywood.

Based on the short story "The Chink and the Child"of Thomas Burkethe film is subtitled "The Yellow Man and the Child" ("The Yellow Man and the Girl"). Critics considered it a classic. Griffith had introduced tragic poetry on the screen for the first time. The film was completed in eighteen days and nights.