Isn't Life Wonderful

Isn't Life Wonderful (1924) is a silent film directed by D. W. Griffith for his company D. W. Griffith Productions, and distributed by United Artists. It was based on the novel by Geoffrey Moss and it went under the alternative title Dawn.

Isn't Life Wonderful
Lobby card
Directed byD.W. Griffith
Produced byD.W. Griffith
Written byD.W. Griffith
Geoffrey Moss (novel)
StarringCarol Dempster
Neil Hamilton
Music byLouis Silvers
Cesare Sodero
CinematographyHendrik Sartov
Harold S. Sintzenich
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • November 23, 1924 (1924-11-23)
Running time
120 minutes
CountryUnited States


A family from Poland has been left homeless in the wake of World War I. They move to Germany and struggle to survive the conditions there, during the Great Inflation. Inga (Carol Dempster) is a Polish war orphan who has only accumulated a small amount of money from the rubble and hopes to marry Paul (Neil Hamilton). Weakened by poison gas, Paul begins to invest in Inga's future and he serves as their symbol of optimism.



Most of the scenes were filmed in Germany and Austria. Only one was filmed in New York at the studio. The film stars Carol Dempster and Neil Hamilton. The film was a failure at the box office, and led to Griffith leaving United Artists shortly after its run in theaters.[1]


The film did receive some positive critical notices at the time, but its stock has risen considerably since; it has for some decades been considered one of Griffith's greatest films.[2]


The title of the film was spoofed in the Charley Chase comedy Isn't Life Terrible (1925).


  1. Drew, William M. "D. W. Griffith (1875-1948)". Gilda's Blue Book of the Screen. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  2. "Rotten Tomatoes". Richard Brody. April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
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