D.W. Griffith

  • D.W. Griffith – The Lesson (1910)

    D.W. Griffith1901-1910DramaSilentUSA
    The Lesson (1910)
    The Lesson (1910)

    The Moving Picture World, 31 December 1910 wrote:
    At one time the Biograph Company had quite a reputation for sermons. Here is one which has much of the original flavor, representing a young man disobeying the wishes of his father, a minister, to become a preacher; sinking lower and lower until just as his father dies he kills a man in a saloon brawl, and but for the plea of a sister would have been taken to prison, even as his father died. Whatever may be thought of this type of picture individually, the power it exerts upon an audience cannot be questioned. Like the horrible examples graphically shown in the goody-goody Sunday school books these films possess a fascination which cannot be denied, yet perhaps few would care to acknowledge its influence. The dramatic attractiveness in this particular instance consists in reproducing a domestic scene, unhappily too common, in some of its aspects at least, in such a way that the events seem to be transpiring before the audience. It is a graphic and impressive illustration of the commandment to honor, which means obey, one’s parents.Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – The Golden Supper (1910)

    D.W. Griffith1901-1910DramaSilentUSA
    The Golden Supper (1910)
    The Golden Supper (1910)

    Lionel and Julian both love Camilla, but she marries Lionel. After half a year, she falls ill and dies. Julian visits her in the tomb, and kissing her hand seems to bring her back to life. Back at the palace, Lionel is nowhere to be found. His heartbreak has prompted him to become a hermit. When Julian sees how Camilla is suffering from Lionel’s absence, he decides to look for him. During a golden feast in honour of Camilla’s return, Lionel comes home. After a touching reunion, the generous Julian once again remains alone.Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – Heart Beats of Long Ago (1911)

    1911-1920D.W. GriffithDramaSilentUSA

    Biograph Films advertisement, 1911 wrote:
    A Story of the Fourteenth Century — This story takes place at a time when there existed among the nobility of Europe feuds between the great houses, and in this case the daughter of one house has given her heart to the son of the master of the rival domain. He braves everything to see his sweetheart…Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – The Birth of a Nation (1915)

    1911-1920D.W. GriffithDramaSilentUSA

    The Birth of a Nation (originally called The Clansman) is a 1915 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith also co-wrote the screenplay (with Frank E. Woods), and co-produced the film (with Harry Aitken). It was released on February 8, 1915. The film was originally presented in two parts, separated by an intermission.
    The film chronicles the relationship of two families in Civil War and Reconstruction-era America: the pro-Union northern Stonemans and the pro-Confederacy Southern Camerons over the course of several years. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth is dramatized.Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – Rose o’ Salem Town (1910)

    1901-1910D.W. GriffithDramaSilentUSA

    Mark David Welsh wrote:
    A young girl living in Salem attracts the romantic attentions of both a frontiersman and one of the village elders. When she rejects the latter, he attempts to force her to accept him by accusing her of witchcraft…Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – Judith of Bethulia (1914)

    1911-1920D.W. GriffithEpicSilentThe Birth of CinemaUSA

    Judith of Bethulia was a 1914 film and starred Blanche Sweet and Henry B. Walthall, and was produced and directed by D. W. Griffith in 1913. This was the first feature-length film made by pioneering film company Biograph, although the second that Biograph released. Shortly after its completion and a disagreement Griffith had with Biograph executives on making more future feature-length films, Griffith left Biograph, and took the entire stock company with him. Biograph delayed the picture’s release until 1914, after Griffith’s departure, so that it would not have to pay him in a profit-sharing agreement they had.Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – Home, Sweet Home (1914)

    1911-1920D.W. GriffithDramaSilentUSA

    John Howard Payne leaves home and begins a career in the theater. Despite encouragement from his mother and his sweetheart, Payne begins to lead a life of dissolute habits, and this soon leads to ruin and misery. In deep despair, he thinks of better days, and writes a song that later provides inspiration to several others in their own times of need.Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – Isn’t Life Wonderful (1924)

    1921-1930D.W. GriffithDramaSilentUSA

    Producer/director D.W. Griffith’s feature is a fairly realistic study of the deprivations visited on the German people after their defeat in World War I. In her best-ever performance, Griffith protégée Carol Dempster plays Inga, who does her best to hold her family together and keep food on the table despite grinding poverty, debilitating illness and out-of-control inflation. The most memorable scene finds Inga desperately trying to maneuver a basketful of near-worthless Deutschmarks to a market before the prices rise again and she is unable to buy meat. Aware that anti-German sentiment still prevailed in the US, Griffith cannily inserted an opening title which noted that the main characters were Polish.Read More »

  • D.W. Griffith – The Massacre (1912)

    1911-1920D.W. GriffithSilentThe Birth of CinemaUSAWestern

    As the woman he loved lay dying, the former suitor swore to protect the child of the other man, just killed in battle. The baby grown to womanhood, the man’s love for the mother was felt again, but a stranger claimed the girl’s love. So the man with his trust left for the far Northwestern country and joined in the government wars against the Indians. There again he met the life which he had sworn to protect. How well he succeeded, the returning young husband could most appreciate, after one of the most deadly massacres and Indian battles of the period.Read More »

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