This three-part documentary by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill explores D.W. Griffith’s career. Read More »
A lonely young woman lives with her strict father who forbids her to wear make-up. One day at an ice cream social, she meets a young man you seems interested in her. However, unknown to her, he is a burglar who is only interested in breaking into her father’s house. One night she is awakened by a noise. Grabbing a pistol, she enters her father’s downstairs office where she confronts a masked intruder . . . Read More »
Thwarted by his despotic uncle from continuing his love affair, a young man turns to thoughts of murder. Experiencing a series of visions, he sees murder as a normal course of events in life and kills his uncle. Tortured by his conscience, his future sanity is uncertain as he is assailed by nightmarish visions of what he has done. Read More »
Way Down East (1920) is a silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. It is one of four film adaptations of the melodramatic 19th century play Way Down East by Lottie Blair Parker. There were two earlier silent versions, and one sound version in 1935, starring Henry Fonda.
Griffith’s version is particularly remembered for its exciting climax in which Lillian Gish’s character is rescued from doom on an icy river. Some sources, quoting newspaper ads of the time, say a sequence was filmed in an early color process, possibly Technicolor or Prizmacolor.
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“Critical judgment remains sharply divided on Intolerance, D. W. Griffith’s most expensive and flamboyant spectacle. Those critics who pronounce the film a failure generally point to the four stories, which, they claim, are thematically too diverse to be effectively collated. Taking their cue from Eisenstein’s famous indictment, they argue that the film suffers from purposeless fragmentation and thematic incoherence. Others, notably Vachel Lindsay, Georges Sadoul, Edward Wagenknecht, and more recently Pauline Kael, list Intolerance among the masterworks, stressing its formal complexity, experimental daring, and thematic richness. René Clair, taking a middle position, writes, “it combines extraordinary lyric passages, realism, and psychological detail, with nonsense, vulgarity, and painful sentimentality.” Read More »
Don Druker, Chicago Reader wrote:
One of D.W. Griffith’s most beautiful films, a 1919 tale of the chaste love of a Chinese man (Richard Barthelmess) for the frail daughter (Lillian Gish) of a loutish boxer. It perfectly fuses all the elements of Griffith’s style: tender drama played off against scenes of violence; a rich, operatic sense of character and emotion; and a dreamlike acting style, given particular force by the subtlety of Gish’s performance and the strength of Barthelmess’s. Read More »
The Birth of a Nation – 1915
Two brothers, Phil and Ted Stoneman, visit their friends in Piedmont, South Carolina: the family Cameron. This friendship is affected by the Civil War, as the Stonemans and the Camerons must join up opposite armies. The consequences of the War in their lives are shown in connection to major historical events, like the development of the Civil War itself, Lincoln’s assassination, and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Read More »