[[quoteright:247:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brokenblossomsposter_zps27ab417d_2411.jpg]]

''Broken Blossoms or the Yellow Man and the Girl'' is a 1919 film directed by Creator/DWGriffith and starring Creator/LillianGish, a tale of love between a Chinese man and an English girl, and very different from the far better-known ''Film/TheBirthOfANation''.

Chen Huan, a young Chinese man leaves his native homeland for the shores of England, as a missionary hoping to spread the teachings of Buddha. However, London quickly chews him up and spits him back out again, and he finds himself running a shop and drifting through opium dens. However, a chance meeting with the young Lucy Burrows, the abused daughter of well known boxer Battling Burrows, leads the two of them to fall in love. But when her father finds out, their love quickly turns into tragedy.

This film is in the public domain and can be viewed in its entirety at [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSVumy2gunA Youtube]] (there are also purple-colored, yellow-colored or sepia-colored versions there) or [[http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1214415598017583235 Google Video]].
----
'''This film contains examples of:'''

* AbusiveParents: Battling Burrows, who abuses Lucy both verbally and physically, [[spoiler:and eventually [[OffingTheOffspring kills her]]]].
* ActualPacifist: Originally, Chen is one. He tries to stop two sailors from fighting, quoting TheGoldenRule.
* AlcoholicParent: Battling Burrows.
* AlmostKiss: Twice, Chen leans in to kiss Lucy, but seeing her draw back refrains.
* AxeBeforeEntering: After a desperate Lucy tries to hide from her father by locking herself in the closet, he chops the door down with a hatchet. The scene where a terrified Lucy bounces off the walls of the closet is one of the most memorable of Lillian Gish's career.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Lucy [[spoiler:after her last, fatal beating at the hands of Battling Burrows.]]
* BreakTheCutie: Chen and Lucy.
* BrokenBird: Poor, poor Lucy.
* BrokenSmile: Lucy forces herself to smile like this several times, [[spoiler:including while dying.]]
* {{Buddhism}}
* TheCavalry: Chen tries to be this, [[spoiler:but arrives too late.]]
* ChastityCouple: Chen's love is "a pure and holy thing". [[EnforcedTrope Enforced,]] since, even though Chen is played by a white actor in yellowface, an interracial makeout session would have been too much for most people to take in 1919 America. And Lucy is only 15, after all.
* DawsonCasting: 26-year-old Creator/LillianGish playing 15-year-old Lucy, [[OlderThanTheyLook though it works for her rather well]]. In the original short story, Lucy is 12, but Griffiths knew that only a child actor could pull off the role of a 12-year-old, and didn't want to traumatise a kid by making her act the part of the badly mistreated Lucy.
* DownerEnding: Chen [[spoiler:fails to rescue Lucy from Battling Burrows, who beats her to death. Abandoning his pacifist beliefs, Chen shoots Burrows, then commits suicide.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Chen at the end.]]
* DrowningMySorrows: Chen visits {{opium den}}s because he's depressed.
* EnterStageWindow: How Chen gets into Battling's apartment when he is trying to rescue Lucy.
* FingerForcedSmile: When Lucy is ordered to smile by her father, she pushes up the corners of her mouth with her fingers. Her life is so miserable that she never had a reason to smile for real.
* TheGoldenRule: At the beginning of the movie, Chen quotes this as a precept of the Buddha's to two white men who are fighting.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:The three main characters all die.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: More like May-September, as Chen is still a young man.
* MightyWhiteyAndMellowYellow: [[GenderInvertedTrope Gender-inverted]], even though Chen is played by a white actor.
* TheMissionary: Chen wants to be one, but he fails. Nobody listens to him, and he becomes just another Chinese shopkeeper.
* MissingMom: Lucy's mother, who simply handed her over to Battling Burrows as an infant, and never came back.
* OpiumDen: Chen starts spending time in these after things go bad in London.
* StalkerWithACrush: Chen, though he's harmless.
* ATasteOfTheLash: Battling Burrows regularly beats Lucy with a whip.
* WideEyedIdealist: Chen starts out as one, but he's quickly broken down by the world.
* {{Yellowface}}: The Chinese characters are played by white actors.
* YellowPeril: Subverted, in that Chen is a decent and honorable person, and the villain of the film is the white Battling Burrows.

----