Between 1909 and 1912, Griffith transformed the movies. The Unchanging Sea was a step in that evolution. No longer just melodrama, the film conjures up an elegiac quality and a pathos that informs much that was to come in film. The images are indelible. The women with their backs to the camera peering out to sea awaiting the return of their beloved men. The corpses washed up on the shore. The relentless pounding surf, which you can almost hear, even though the movie is silent.
Of the films in this series, this is the first with a famous, recognizable star in Mary Pickford. And this is the first that really tugs at the heartstrings.