The Birth of Cinema

D.W. Griffith – The Burglar’s Dilemma (1912)

In this latter day Cain and Abel story, a jealous brother strikes down his sibling just as a young burglar is about to enter the house. The jealous brother summons police, who then charge the young intruder with murder. How can the burglar prove his innocence? Read More »

D.W. Griffith – The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)

A tender young woman and her husband (a musician) attempt to eke out a living in the slums of New York City, but find themselves caught in the crossfires of gang violence. Read More »

D.W. Griffith – The Miser’s Heart (1911)

Thieves decide to steal the money an old miser has hidden away. He refuses to open the safe for them, so they threaten to kill a girl who lives in his building. Read More »

D.W. Griffith – Enoch Arden: Part I (1911)

Enoch Arden, a humble fisherman, marries Annie Lee. He signs on as a sailor to make more money to support their growing family. A storm wrecks his ship, but Enoch swims to a deserted island. Annie waits vainly for his return. Read More »

D.W. Griffith – The Usurer (1910)

A wealthy, callous moneylender finds a terrifying way to learn about money’s limitations. Read More »

D.W. Griffith & G.W. Bitzer – The Adventures of Dollie (1908)

On a warm and sunny summer’s day, a mother and father take their young daughter Dollie on a riverside outing. A gypsy basket peddler happens along, and is angered when the mother refuses to buy his wares. He attacks mother and daughter but is driven off by the father. Later the gypsy sneaks back and kidnaps the girl. A rescue party is organized but the gypsy conceals the child in a 30 gallon barrel which he precariously places on the tail of the wagon. He and his gypsy-wife make their getaway by fording the river with the wagon. The barrel, with Dollie still inside, breaks free, tumbling into into the river; it starts floating toward the peril of a nearby waterfall…
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D.W. Griffith – An Unseen Enemy (1912)

The physician’s death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor’s small estate to cash. But it is late in the day, and with the banks closed he stores the money in his father’s household safe. The slatternly housekeeper, aware of the money, enlists a criminal acquaintance to crack the safe. She attempts to get into the adjacent room where the sisters tremble in fear, but finds that the door is locked. The drunken housekeeper menaces them by brandishing a gun through a hole in the wall. But the resourceful girls use the telephone to call their brother who has returned to town. He gets the message and organizes a rescue party. Read More »