The Enemy (1927 film)

The Enemy is a 1927 American silent drama film directed by Fred Niblo and starring Lillian Gish, Ralph Forbes and Ralph Emerson. The film was thought to have been lost for years until a copy was discovered at the MGM library, now owned by Turner Entertainment. However, the film is still missing its final reel.[1] Actor Joel McCrea made an early appearance as an extra.

The Enemy
The Enemy lobby card.jpg
Lobby card
Directed byFred Niblo
Screenplay byJohn Colton
Willis Goldbeck
Agnes Christine Johnston
Channing Pollock
StarringLillian Gish
Ralph Forbes
Ralph Emerson
CinematographyOliver T. Marsh
Edited byMargaret Booth
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 8, 1927 (1927-12-08)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
(English intertitles)


Newlywed Carl (Ralph Forbes) goes to war where he endures major suffering. Back home, wife Pauli (Lillian Gish) starves, becomes a prostitute to survive, and their baby dies.


Censorship concernEdit

The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, formed by the film industry in 1922, regulated the content of films through a list of subjects that were to be avoided. While Lillian Gish portrayed a prostitute in The Enemy, this was acceptable as prostitution was not explicitly barred so long as it was not forced (i.e., white slavery) and aspects of her work were not shown in the film.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: The Enemy". Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  2. ^ Campbell, Russell (1997). "Prostitution and Film Censorship in the USA". Screening the Past (2): C/6. Retrieved July 5, 2020.

External linksEdit