D. W. Griffith

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D. W. Griffith

#1 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:45 am


David Wark Griffith (1875 - 1948)

"I moved the whole world onto a twenty foot screen.."


The Struggle (1931) R1 Kino (double feature w A. Lincoln), also part of R1 Kino Griffith Masterworks Box 2

Abraham Lincoln (1930) R1 Kino (double feature w The Struggle), also part of R1 Kino Griffith Masterworks Box 2

Lady of the Pavements (1929)

The Battle of the Sexes (1928) R1 Image Entertainment DVD

Drums of Love (1928)

Topsy and Eva (1927/I) (uncredited)

The Sorrows of Satan (1926)

That Royle Girl (1925)

Sally of the Sawdust (1925)

Isn't Life Wonderful (1924)

America (1924)

The White Rose (1923)

Mammy's Boy (1923)

One Exciting Night (1922)

Orphans of the Storm (1921)

Dream Street (1921)

Way Down East (1920)

The Love Flower (1920)

Remodeling Her Husband (1920) (uncredited)

The Idol Dancer (1920)

The Greatest Question (1919)

Scarlet Days (1919)

The Mother and the Law (1919)

The Fall of Babylon (1919)

True Heart Susie (1919)

Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919)

The Girl Who Stayed at Home (1919)

A Romance of Happy Valley (1919)

The World of Columbus (1919)

The Greatest Thing in Life (1918)

Lillian Gish in a Liberty Loan Appeal (1918) (unconfirmed)

The Great Love (1918)

Hearts of the World (1918)

Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)
aka Intolerance: A Sun-Play of the Ages (USA: copyright title)

A Day with Governor Whitman (1916)

The Birth of a Nation (1915)
aka The Clansman (Los Angeles premiere title)

The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (1914)

The Escape (1914)

Home, Sweet Home (1914/I)

Brute Force (1914)

The Battle of the Sexes (1914)

Judith of Bethulia (1914)

The Massacre (1914) 8

Waifs (1914) (unconfirmed)

The Conscience of Hassan Bey (1913) (supervising)

The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1913) 8 10

Madonna of the Storm (1913) (unconfirmed)

The Adopted Brother (1913) (unconfirmed)

Two Men of the Desert (1913)

The Coming of Angelo (1913)

The Mistake (1913)

The Enemy's Baby (1913) (unconfirmed)

The Reformers; or, The Lost Art of Minding One's Business (1913) 9

The Sorrowful Shore (1913)

Her Mother's Oath (1913)

The Mothering Heart (1913) 8 10

Death's Marathon (1913) 8 10

A Timely Interception (1913)

The Ranchero's Revenge (1913)

His Mother's Son (1913)

Just Gold (1913)

The Yaqui Cur (1913)

The House of Darkness (1913) 10

The Stolen Loaf (1913) (unconfirmed)

The Wanderer (1913/II)

If We Only Knew (1913) (unconfirmed)

The Lady and the Mouse (1913)

The Left-Handed Man (1913)

A Misunderstood Boy (1913)

The Little Tease (1913)

The Perfidy of Mary (1913)

The Hero of Little Italy (1913)

The Sheriff's Baby (1913)

A Welcome Intruder (1913)

Fate (1913/I)

Near to Earth (1913)

The Unwelcome Guest (1913)

A Girl's Stratagem (1913) (unconfirmed)

Broken Ways (1913)

Love in an Apartment Hotel (1913)

A Chance Deception (1913)

Drink's Lure (1913)

Oil and Water (1913)

Brothers (1913)

A Misappropriated Turkey (1913)

The Tender Hearted Boy (1913) (unconfirmed)

An Adventure in the Autumn Woods (1913)

The Telephone Girl and the Lady (1913)

Three Friends (1913)

Mother Love (1913/I)

The God Within (1912)

A Cry for Help (1912)

The Burglar's Dilemma (1912) 8 10

My Hero (1912)

The New York Hat (1912) 8 10 27

Brutality (1912)

The Informer (1912)

My Baby (1912) (unconfirmed)

Gold and Glitter (1912) (unconfirmed)

Heredity (1912)

The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) 8 9 10

The Painted Lady (1912) 8 10

The One She Loved (1912)

In the Aisles of the Wild (1912)

The Chief's Blanket (1912)

A Feud in the Kentucky Hills (1912)

So Near, Yet So Far (1912)

Friends (1912) 8

Two Daughters of Eve (1912)

Blind Love (1912)

An Unseen Enemy (1912) 8 10

In the North Woods (1912)

A Pueblo Legend (1912)

A Pueblo Romance (1912)

A Change of Spirit (1912)

The Inner Circle (1912)

A Child's Remorse (1912)

The Narrow Road (1912) 28

Black Sheep (1912/I)

The Sands of Dee (1912)

Heaven Avenges (1912) (unconfirmed)

Man's Genesis (1912)

An Indian Summer (1912) (unconfirmed)

Man's Lust for Gold (1912)

The School Teacher and the Waif (1912)

The Spirit Awakened (1912)

Lena and the Geese (1912)

A Temporary Truce (1912)

Home Folks (1912)

An Outcast Among Outcasts (1912)

A Beast at Bay (1912) 9

When Kings Were the Law (1912)

His Lesson (1912)

A Lodging for the Night (1912)

The Old Actor (1912)

The Lesser Evil (1912) 8

One Is Business, the Other Crime (1912) 8 10

Just Like a Woman (1912)

The Female of the Species (1912) 10

Fate's Interception (1912)

The Punishment (1912)

The Goddess of Sagebrush Gulch (1912)

The Root of Evil (1912)

Iola's Promise (1912)

The Girl and Her Trust (1912) 9 10 26

A String of Pearls (1912)

A Siren of Impulse (1912)

The Sunbeam (1912) 8 10

Under Burning Skies (1912)

The Mender of Nets (1912) 9 20

Billy's Stratagem (1912)

A Sister's Love (1912)

The Transformation of Mike (1912)

A Blot on the 'Scutcheon (1912)

For His Son (1912) 9 10 25

The Old Bookkeeper (1912)

The Eternal Mother (1912)

A Tale of the Wilderness (1912)

Grannie (1912)

The Baby and the Stork (1912) (unconfirmed)

The Voice of the Child (1911)

A Terrible Discovery (1911)

As in a Looking Glass (1911/I)

Saved from Himself (1911) 24

The Failure (1911)

A Woman Scorned (1911)

Sunshine Through the Dark (1911)

The Miser's Heart (1911) 8

Through Darkened Vales (1911)

The Trail of Books (1911)

The Battle (1911) 19

Love in the Hills (1911/I)

The Long Road (1911)

The Adventures of Billy (1911) 23

The Unveiling (1911)

Italian Blood (1911)

The Making of a Man (1911)

Her Awakening (1911)

The Revenue Man and the Girl (1911)

Dan the Dandy (1911)

The Squaw's Love (1911)

The Old Confectioner's Mistake (1911)

The Stuff Heroes Are Made Of (1911) (unconfirmed)

Swords and Hearts (1911) 19

The Rose of Kentucky (1911)

The Blind Princess and the Poet (1911)

The Sorrowful Example (1911)

The Ruling Passion (1911)

Out from the Shadow (1911)

The Last Drop of Water (1911) 8

A Country Cupid (1911) 23

The Indian Brothers (1911)

Bobby, the Coward (1911)

The Jealous Husband (1911) (unconfirmed)

The Thief and the Girl (1911)

Fighting Blood (1911)

Her Sacrifice (1911)

The Primal Call (1911)

Enoch Arden: Part II (1911) 8

Enoch Arden: Part I (1911) 8

The Smile of a Child (1911)

A Romany Tragedy (1911)

The White Rose of the Wilds (1911)

The Crooked Road (1911) (unconfirmed)

The New Dress (1911)

In the Days of '49 (1911)

The Two Sides (1911)

How She Triumphed (1911)

His Mother's Scarf (1911)

A Knight of the Road (1911)

Madame Rex (1911)

Paradise Lost (1911)

The Chief's Daughter (1911/I)

The Broken Cross (1911)

The Spanish Gypsy (1911)

The Lonedale Operator (1911) (uncredited) 15

Teaching Dad to Like Her (1911) (unconfirmed)

Was He a Coward? (1911)

Conscience (1911)

A Decree of Destiny (1911)

The Heart of a Savage (1911)

The Lily of the Tenements (1911)

His Daughter (1911)

The Diamond Star (1911)

Fisher Folks (1911)

What Shall We Do with Our Old? (1911) 10

Heart Beats of Long Ago (1911)

Three Sisters (1911)

A Wreath of Orange Blossoms (1911) (unconfirmed)

The Poor Sick Men (1911) (unconfirmed)

Fate's Turning (1911) 12

His Trust Fulfilled (1911) 19

His Trust (1911) 8 10 19

The Italian Barber (1911)

When a Man Loves (1911)

The Two Paths (1911)

Flaming Arrows (1911)

Winning Back His Love (1910)

White Roses (1910) (unconfirmed)

The Lesson (1910)

His Sister-In-Law (1910)

The Golden Supper (1910)

A Child's Stratagem (1910)

A Plain Song (1910)

His New Lid (1910)

The Song of the Wildwood Flute (1910)

Sunshine Sue (1910)

Simple Charity (1910)

The Fugitive (1910) 19

Waiter No. 5 (1910)

Two Little Waifs (1910)

The Message of the Violin (1910)

The Banker's Daughters (1910)

The Broken Doll (1910)

That Chink at Golden Gulch (1910)

The Iconoclast (1910)

Examination Day at School (1910)

Rose O'Salem Town (1910)

The Oath and the Man (1910)

A Summer Tragedy (1910)

In Life's Cycle (1910) 29

A Mohawk's Way (1910)

Little Angels of Luck (1910)

A Summer Idyll (1910)

The Affair of an Egg (1910)

The Modern Prodigal (1910) 29

Wilful Peggy (1910) 9 20 29

The Sorrows of the Unfaithful (1910) 29

An Old Story with a New Ending (1910)

The Usurer (1910/I) 8 29

A Salutary Lesson (1910)

The House with Closed Shutters (1910) 9 18 19 29

Her Father's Pride (1910)

An Arcadian Maid (1910) 9 29

Unexpected Help (1910)

The Call to Arms (1910)

As the Bells Rang Out! (1910)

Serious Sixteen (1910)

A Flash of Light (1910) 29

A Child's Faith (1910)

What the Daisy Said (1910) (uncredited) 21

A Midnight Cupid (1910)

Muggsy's First Sweetheart (1910) 22 29

A Child's Impulse (1910)

The Marked Time-Table (1910)

May and December (1910)

Never Again (1910/I)

The Face at the Window (1910)

In the Border States (1910) 5 10 19

A Victim of Jealousy (1910)

A Child of the Ghetto (1910) 5

The Purgation (1910)

In the Season of Buds (1910)

The Impalement (1910)

A Knot in the Plot (1910) (unconfirmed)

Ramona (1910) 17

An Affair of Hearts (1910) (unconfirmed)

Over Silent Paths (1910)

Love Among the Roses (1910)

The Unchanging Sea (1910) 5 8 10

The Gold Seekers (1910)

Up a Tree (1910)

The Way of the World (1910)

The Tenderfoot's Triumph (1910)

Thou Shalt Not (1910)

A Romance of the Western Hills (1910) 5

A Rich Revenge (1910)

As It Is in Life (1910) 5 9

The Two Brothers (1910/I)

His Last Dollar (1910) (unconfirmed)

The Smoker (1910)

Gold Is Not All (1910)

The Twisted Trail (1910)

Faithful (1910) 5

The Converts (1910)

The Man (1910)

In Old California (1910)

The Thread of Destiny (1910)

The Newlyweds (1910)

The Final Settlement (1910)

Taming a Husband (1910)

His Last Burglary (1910)

The Englishman and the Girl (1910)

One Night and Then (1910)

The Duke's Plan (1910)

The Course of True Love (1910) (unconfirmed)

The Woman from Mellon's (1910)

The Cloister's Touch (1910)

The Last Deal (1910)

The Honor of His Family (1910)

The Call (1910)

On the Reef (1910)

Her Terrible Ordeal (1910) 5

The Dancing Girl of Butte (1910)

The Rocky Road (1910) 5

Choosing a Husband (1909)

The Day After (1909)

To Save Her Soul (1909)

In Little Italy (1909)

A Trap for Santa Claus (1909) (uncredited)

In a Hempen Bag (1909)

The Test (1909)

A Corner in Wheat (1909) 4 8 10

The Red Man's View (1909) 10

Through the Breakers (1909)

The Death Disc: A Story of the Cromwellian Period (1909)

In the Window Recess (1909)

The Trick That Failed (1909)

The Mountaineer's Honor (1909) 5

The Open Gate (1909)

A Midnight Adventure (1909)

A Sweet Revenge (1909)

Two Women and a Man (1909)

The Light That Came (1909) 4 12

The Restoration (1909)

Nursing a Viper (1909)

The Gibson Goddess (1909) 4

What's Your Hurry? (1909)

Lines of White on a Sullen Sea (1909) 4

In the Watches of the Night (1909)

The Expiation (1909)

His Lost Love (1909)

A Change of Heart (1909)

The Little Teacher (1909)

Fools of Fate (1909) 4

Pippa Passes; or, The Song of Conscience (1909) 4

The Awakening (1909) 4

Wanted, a Child (1909)

Leather Stocking (1909)

A Fair Exchange (1909)

In Old Kentucky (1909)

The Broken Locket (1909) 3

Getting Even (1909) 4

The Children's Friend (1909)

Comata, the Sioux (1909)

The Hessian Renegades (1909) 4

The Little Darling (1909) 4

The Sealed Room (1909) 4 8 10

Pranks (1909)

The Mills of the Gods (1909)

Oh, Uncle! (1909)

The Seventh Day (1909)

The Indian Runner's Romance (1909)

His Wife's Visitor (1909)

Mrs. Jones' Lover; or, 'I Want My Hat' (1909)

With Her Card (1909)

The Better Way (1909)

Mr. Jones' Burglar (1909)

They Would Elope (1909)

The Mended Lute (1909)

A Strange Meeting (1909) 3

The Slave (1909)

A Convict's Sacrifice (1909)

Jealousy and the Man (1909)

Sweet and Twenty (1909)

The Renunciation (1909) 3

Tender Hearts (1909)

The Friend of the Family (1909)

The Cardinal's Conspiracy (1909) 3

The Country Doctor (1909) (uncredited) 3 16

The Message (1909)

The Necklace (1909)

The Way of Man (1909) 3

The Mexican Sweethearts (1909)

The Peachbasket Hat (1909)

Was Justice Served? (1909)

Her First Biscuits (1909) 3

The Faded Lilies (1909)

The Son's Return (1909) 3

A New Trick (1909)

The Lonely Villa (1909) 3

The Violin Maker of Cremona (1909/I) 3

What Drink Did (1909) 2 9 11

Eradicating Aunty (1909)

His Duty (1909)

The Cricket on the Hearth (1909) 2 14

Eloping with Auntie (1909)

Two Memories (1909)

Resurrection (1909/I) 2

The Jilt (1909)

A Baby's Shoe (1909)

Jones and the Lady Book Agent (1909)

The French Duel (1909)

One Busy Hour (1909)

The Note in the Shoe (1909)

The Eavesdropper (1909)

The Suicide Club (1909/I)

Tis an Ill Wind That Blows No Good (1909)

Lucky Jim (1909) 2

Twin Brothers (1909)

The Drive for a Life (1909)

A Troublesome Satchel (1909)

Lady Helen's Escapade (1909)

Confidence (1909) 2

A Sound Sleeper (1909)

The Winning Coat (1909)

A Rude Hostess (1909)

Schneider's Anti-Noise Crusade (1909)

The Road to the Heart (1909)

Trying to Get Arrested (1909)

A Drunkard's Reformation (1909) 2

Jones and His New Neighbors (1909)

The Medicine Bottle (1909)

A Burglar's Mistake (1909)

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them (1909)

The Deception (1909)

The Voice of the Violin (1909) 2 17

I Did It (1909)

The Lure of the Gown (1909) 2

The Salvation Army Lass (1909)

The Roue's Heart (1909)

The Wooden Leg (1909)

A Fool's Revenge (1909)

His Wife's Mother (1909)

The Prussian Spy (1909)

At the Altar (1909) 2

The Golden Louis (1909) 2

The Politician's Love Story (1909) 2

The Hindoo Dagger (1909)

The Joneses Have Amateur Theatricals (1909) 2

His Ward's Love (1909)

The Curtain Pole (1909) 1 9

Tragic Love (1909)

A Wreath in Time (1909)

Edgar Allan Poe (1909) 13

The Brahma Diamond (1909)

The Girls and Daddy (1909)

The Cord of Life (1909) 1

The Welcome Burglar (1909)

Those Awful Hats (1909) 1 8 10

Mr. Jones Has a Card Party (1909)

The Fascinating Mrs. Francis (1909)

The Criminal Hypnotist (1909)

Those Boys! (1909)

A Rural Elopement (1909)

The Sacrifice (1909)

Love Finds a Way (1909)

The Honor of Thieves (1909)

Mrs. Jones Entertains (1909)

The Maniac Cook (1909)

Bill Sharkey's Last Game (1909)

Mamma (1909)

One Touch of Nature (1909)

The Heart of an Outlaw (1909)

The Helping Hand (1908)

Mr. Jones at the Ball (1908)

The Christmas Burglars (1908)

An Awful Moment (1908)

The Test of Friendship (1908)

The Reckoning (1908)

The Feud and the Turkey (1908)

The Valet's Wife (1908)

Money Mad (1908) 1

The Clubman and the Tramp (1908)

A Woman's Way (1908)

The Ingrate (1908)

The Song of the Shirt (1908) 1

The Guerrilla (1908)

The Taming of the Shrew (1908) 7

The Pirate's Gold (1908)

After Many Years (1908)

Concealing a Burglar (1908)

The Call of the Wild (1908)

Romance of a Jewess (1908) 1

The Planter's Wife (1908)

The Vaquero's Vow (1908)

Ingomar, the Barbarian (1908)

Father Gets in the Game (1908) 1

The Zulu's Heart (1908)

The Devil (1908)

The Stolen Jewels (1908)

A Smoked Husband (1908)

Where the Breakers Roar (1908)

The Heart of O'Yama (1908)

The Red Girl (1908)

Behind the Scenes (1908)

The Girl and the Outlaw (1908)

Monday Morning in a Coney Island Police Court (1908) (unconfirmed)

Betrayed by a Handprint (1908) 1

For a Wife's Honor (1908)

Balked at the Altar (1908) 1

For Love of Gold (1908)

The Fatal Hour (1908)

The Man and the Woman (1908)

The Greaser's Gauntlet (1908)

A Calamitous Elopement (1908) 1

The Bandit's Waterloo (1908)

Deceived Slumming Party (1908)

The Red Man and the Child (1908)

The Black Viper (co-directed with Wallace McCutcheon, 1908) 6

The Tavern Keeper's Daughter (1908)

The Fight for Freedom (1908)

The Adventures of Dollie (1908) 1 8

In Print

About Griffith

DW Griffith; An American Life by Richard Schickel

D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film: THE EARLY YEARS AT BIOGRAPH (Paperback) by Tom Gunning

D. W. Griffith's Film, The Birth of a Nation: The Film that Transformed America (Paperback) by Michael Hurwitz

D W GRIFFITH LIFE & WORK (Cinema classics) (Hardcover) by Robert M. Henderson

D.W. Griffith's Intolerance: Its Genesis and Its Vision(Paperback) by William M. Drew

Adventures with D.W. Griffithby Karl Brown (Griffith/Bitzer's Assistant D.P.) and Kevin Brownlow (Editor)

D.W. Griffith and the Biograph Company (Scarecrow Filmmakers Series) (Hardcover) by Cooper C. Graham

DW Griffith: American Film Master(Hardcover) by Iris Barry (MoMA)

Stagestruck Filmmaker: D. W. Griffith and the American Theatre(Hardcover) by David Mayer

Dinner With DW Griffith and Other Memories(Paperback) by Joseph Woodson Oglesby

Thinking in Pictures: Dramatic Structure in D. W. Griffith's Biograph Films(Paperback) by Joyce E. Jesionowski

By Griffith:

The Man Who Invented Hollywood (The Autobiography Of D. W. Griffith)(Hardcover) by D W Griffith (Author), Frank Capra (Foreword), James Hart (Editor)

(More to come; links to be added)

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#2 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:00 pm

Has anyone seen the incredibly gloomy "The Struggle" yet?

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#3 Post by Sloper » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:42 pm

I ordered it a few days ago, more out of a desire to finally see Walter Huston play Lincoln, but The Struggle does look interesting. To judge from the clips in Father of Film, it seems (at least in the climax) to be revisiting Broken Blossoms territory, but in a more chilling, pared-down style. But apparently it was considered risible at the time - I'm hoping it was just unappreciated?

I was slightly puzzled to see 'One Touch of Nature' (1909) on the list, as I remembered that one from Kino's Edison set, but it seems there were several films made around that time with this title. The 1914 version (directed by Ashley Miller) is very beautiful, and though technically inferior to what D.W. was doing by that time, it is vaguely Griffith-esque in its use of natural light, lovely compositions, old-fashioned sentiment - everything but the melodramatic plot.

Nice to see a thread for this great man, anyway.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#4 Post by aox » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:04 pm

Saw The Adventures of Dollie, The Fatal Hour and After Many Years in the theater Monday night. I really enjoyed the first two and I found the latter very forgettable, though many of those scenes reminded me of how he would direct a lot of the early scenes in The Birth of a Nation. The man certainly had a specific style. The problem for me is trying to recognize it since it has pretty much been imitated by every film made since the 1910s.

I actually liked The Adventures of Dollie. My only complaint was that he held some of the barrel shots too long allowing the barrel to slowly enter and exit each shot. Still a delightful short.

I can imagine The Fatal Hour being a very intense thriller for the 1908 crowd.

[spoiler=]Even I was cringing right up to when the gun went off, and the near hit to her head[/spoiler]

Additionally, it was very fun to see Griffith and Mack Sennett playing cops.

PS: I feel silly putting spoiler for a 101 year old film. I think that is more than enough time for you all to have seen this film.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#5 Post by Sloper » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:14 pm

aox wrote:I actually liked The Adventures of Dollie. My only complaint was that he held some of the barrel shots too long allowing the barrel to slowly enter and exit each shot. Still a delightful short.

Yes, this is one of the symptoms of 'chase' films from the period that makes them really difficult to watch: check out some of the comedies on the Edison set. There's one ('How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns' (1904), I think) which consists almost entirely of a succession of shots in each of which a man runs through a field, followed by about six women who run, one by one, through the field; then there's another field; then they all have to climb over a fence; some more fields; it goes on for about ten minutes.

Compare this stuff to the scene in Birth of a Nation where Gus chases the little sister and Ben Cameron chases Gus: simple but brilliant, it lays down so many of the rules of chase sequences that we take for granted now. In this sequence, we still mostly see people entering and leaving the frame, but Griffith uses memorable compositions (the gap in the fence at the start of the sequence, the clearing in the woods, the twin trees whose branches the characters have to push through, the tree trunks beside which Gus keeps losing items of clothing, etc) so that we can follow all three characters' progress, and feel the tension build as they draw closer and closer to each other, successively passing through these locations.

It's fascinating how, in those very early days, audiences were perceived to be incapable of understanding what was going on unless it was spoon-fed to them drop by drop. Griffith himself apparently was nervous of using tracking shots because he thought they would confuse the audience, although Billy Bitzer had used the technique in about 1904. The same applies to close-ups, hence those anecdotes about people complaining they couldn't see the whole of the characters; and in the early days of sound, filmmakers were loth to put music on the soundtrack because they thought the spectators would wonder where it was coming from - hence the frequent recourse to the gramophone in The Bitter Tea of General Yen.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#6 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun May 17, 2009 5:38 am

In the interest of creating an overview of Griffith's silent short films available on DVD, I have gone through the filmography in the initial post, and made notations in red next to the films that have received release on various DVDs.

The notations refer to the list of releases below.

1 - D.W. Griffith Director #1 (1908-1909) (Grapevine)
2 - D.W. Griffith Director #2 (1909) (Grapevine)
3 - D.W. Griffith Director #3 (1909) (Grapevine)
4 - D.W. Griffith Director #4 (1909) (Grapevine)
5 - D.W. Griffith Director #5 (1909-1910) (Grapevine)
6 - D.W. Griffith as Actor (Grapevine)
7 - (extra on) Othello (Kino)
8 - D.W. Griffith's Biograph Shorts (Kino)
9 - A Griffith Biograph Collection featuring Mary Pickford (ReelClassicDVD)
10 - Griffith: Years of Discovery (Image Entertainment) OOP
11 - (extra on) Trilby (ReelClassicDVD)
12 - Nickelodia 2 (Unknown Video)
13 - (extra on) The Avenging Conscience (Kino)
14 - Dickens Before Sound (BFI)
15 - Treasures from American Film Archives (National Film Preservation Foundation)
16 - More Treasures from American Film Archives (National Film Preservation Foundation)
17 - Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film 1900-1934 (National Film Preservation Foundation)
18 - Unseen Cinema (Vol. 4) (Image Entertainment)
19 - (extra on) The Birth of a Nation (Kino)
20 - (extra on) Sparrows (Milestone)
21 - (extra on) Daddy-Long-Legs (Milestone)
22 - (extra on) Sweet Adeline (Sunrise Silents)
23 - Nickelodia 1 (Unknown Video)
24 - Mabel Normand Films (Sunrise Silents)
25 - Saved From the Flames (Flicker Alley)
26 - The Movies Begin (Vol. 5) (Kino)
27 - Before Hollywood There Was Fort Lee, NJ (Kino)
28 - The Origins of Film: 1900-1926 (Image Entertainment) OOP
29 - D.W. Griffith Director #6 (1910) (Grapevine)

All of these DVDs, aside from BFI's Dickens Before Sound, are American releases. I would be surprised if the list is complete, and information on anything not included in the list is obviously very welcome.

(Stills and further comments on the films/DVDs to follow later).

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#7 Post by Sloper » Fri May 29, 2009 8:44 pm

Many thanks to forum members htdm and Jonathan S for directing me to the Connoisseur Video release of The Birth of a Nation (see the ‘Kino Griffith boxsets’ thread), featuring a Brownlow/Gill restoration and John Lanchbery’s arrangement of the Breil score. I’ve watched it, and it’s a revelation on a number of levels...

First, it contains footage not present in the Shepard restoration. The only major bits I noticed were Stoneman flirting with his mulatto housekeeper (censored for obvious reasons) and the second Cameron son dying in battle during the burning of Atlanta. Both very brief moments, but they fill up holes in the plot. Apparently Griffith was a compulsive re-editor of his films, and there may be many other differences in this version but I haven’t had time to do a thorough comparison.

Second, the image on the Shepard version is cropped. This becomes noticeable just after Mae Marsh has topped herself, and there’s a long shot of the cliff with Gus standing at the top of it, looking down. In the Kino release (and judging from the Beaver caps the Eureka image has the same AR) the shot looks ineptly composed, with only Gus’s legs visible at the top of the cliff. In the Brownlow restoration, you can see Gus’s whole body, his arms waving in despair. It’s a much, much better shot this way.

Third, Lanchbery’s score is sensational. The purist in me wishes he’d stuck to the original score all the way through, but his additions are always intelligent and appropriate, especially in the Gus/Little Sister chase sequence – a real tour de force. The best thing about this soundtrack, though, is that it reveals just how effective Breil’s score can be if played properly, by a really good orchestra in a studio with good acoustics. It has quite a ‘live’ feel to it, unlike many of the Davis scores on the Thames Silents, which are a little too clean and flat for my money. The occasional sound of a trumpet going wrong in the Lanchbery score just adds to the drama and vitality of it. The performance of Ride of the Valkyries is a major highlight, with the howling woodwind almost drowning out the main theme, creating a tremendous sense of hysteria and excitement. Karl Brown’s enthusiastic account of the musical accompaniment at the film’s premiere is cruelly belied by that manky noise on the Kino release, but with Lanchbery at the helm you really can get a feel for just how thrilling this film must have been in 1915.

In short, anyone with any interest in The Birth should seek out the Connoisseur VHS – I got mine from Amazon UK for just £5, including shipping. Someone really has to release this on DVD.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#8 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:10 am

Stills from the Grapevine's series of Griffith Biograph releases are posted in the screen captures thread. I have aimed to give an overview of the variable quality of these discs. If anything, I think I have failed on the side of making them look better than they are. They clearly are for people very seriously interested in Griffith's work. Neither sources, nor transfers, will please the very exacting amongst us.

As I think is general, when viewing a lot of these early films by Griffith, one of the things that strike is the wide variety of topics and types of films, he made. Here is everything from silly vignettes over "epic" historical dramas and socially committed problem films to light comedies, and much more. Secondly, the rapid development and perfection of his film language, which was more or less made up as he went along. The pace was furious; he often produced and directed a couple of films per week -- one- and two-reelers to be sure, but still! Finally, and this becomes even more apparent with the films he made between 1910 and 1913, Griffith was far from being a one-dimensional bigot, as one could easily get the impression from present day comments. Native Americans and African Americans, as well as women, vagrants and gangsters, and all manner of other "types" usually relegated to weak and villainous parts in early film are often shown in a heroic light in these early films, just as all manner of members of the male white community are shown as both villanous and heroic, according to the situations of the individual stories.

Meanwhile, Grapevine has released a sixth volume in this series. It is dedicated to Griffith's films of 1910, and again there are a number of overlaps with other releases. I have added this to the list above, and included annotations in the initial post.

Stills from some of the other early Griffith releases to follow later.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#9 Post by Cold Bishop » Thu May 31, 2012 5:07 am

Other than the feature films post-Birth of a Nation, can anyone give a good recommendation where to go after that, an "Essential Filmography", if you will? I've been eager to revisit (and in some cases, plain old visit) his work for some while now, but the glut of films/releases is daunting.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#10 Post by Sloper » Thu May 31, 2012 5:50 am

Try Kino's release of The Avenging Conscience - a deliriously brilliant horror film with a great 'falling apart at the seams' performance from Henry B. Walthall.

Of the films on the Kino 'Biograph shorts' set, I'd especially recommend A Corner In Wheat, An Unseen Enemy, The Musketeers of Pig Alley, The Painted Lady and The Massacre. The Painted Lady is my personal favourite - not a million miles away from the kind of thing that Bauer was doing a year or two later, less formally inventive but just as sensitive and complex in its treatment of actors (specifically the great Blanche Sweet, in this case).

If you can find, via a back channel perhaps, a recording (probably from Channel 4 in the 80s or 90s) of Intolerance with Carl Davis' score, that really is the definitive version - you haven't quite seen the film in all its grandeur until you experience it like this.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#11 Post by Cold Bishop » Thu May 31, 2012 6:22 am

Titles duly noted.

Let me just disclaimer with the fact that I'm more than familiar with the "backchannels", so don't be afraid to recommend any non-traditionally available films.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#12 Post by Sloper » Thu May 31, 2012 7:48 am

Well a lot of people would recommend Isn't Life Wonderful? (1924), which is about a Polish family struggling through the inflation crisis in post-WW1 Germany. It's undoubtedly a great film in some ways, with some nail-biting suspense sequences set in a forest, but I do find the sentimentality artificial and cloying, even by Griffith's standards. One of the nice things about his early work is that, though it's grounded in hoary old traditions of Victorian melodrama, it doesn't suffer from quite the same degree of alienating self-importance, the self-conscious air of 'You Do Know This Is Art, Don't You?', as you find in the later films, namely (for me) from Broken Blossoms onwards.

I don't know much of the other 1920s work (just Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm, both of which I admire but don't particularly like, for the above-stated reason), but his last two films, and his only talkies, Abraham Lincoln and The Struggle, are well worth seeing. On the one hand, they're classic Griffith, using some of his old techniques in a way that must have seemed old-fashioned by this time (and the racism is still there; see the casual anti-Semitic stereotyping in The Struggle). On the other hand, they show how formally inventive he still was, still developing his style and technique. I'd have to watch them again to comment in more detail, but these two films really make me wish that he'd been able to go on directing through the 1930s and 40s.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#13 Post by knives » Thu May 31, 2012 10:44 am

America's also pretty excellent though it's one of those back channel films you were talking about. In a way it's Griffith boiled to his essence.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#14 Post by Gregory » Thu May 31, 2012 11:31 am

Here's my somewhat haphazard attempt at a list of the Griffith essentials (leaving aside the well-known features): The Renunciation, Edgar Allan Poe, and A Corner in Wheat (all from '09), The Unchanging Sea and Ramona ('10), The Lonedale Operator and Enoch Arden ('11), Musketeers of Pig Alley, An Unseen Enemy, and The Female of the Species (all '12), Two Men of the Desert ('13), Judith of Bethulia, The Avenging Conscience, and Home Sweet Home (all '14), and The Greatest Thing in Life ('18). I'm sure there's much more I just haven't seen. In addition to the ones Sloper mentioned, a '20s work to look for is One Exciting Night. Some of the shorts were well discussed in the pre-1920s list project thread of course.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#15 Post by Cold Bishop » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:17 am

Gregory wrote:The Greatest Thing in Life ('18).
Surely you're thinking of another title.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#16 Post by Gregory » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:06 pm

Whoops, yes. I'm still unsure what I'm thinking of. I was pretty sure it was made in the same era as Intolerance and Broken Blossoms but perhaps not. Oh well, fortunately I have some notes on most of the others I listed and memories of them that are much less hazy.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#17 Post by Sloper » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Were you thinking of Hearts of the World (1918)? I haven't seen it, but it's the WWI drama, incorporating some footage actually shot in France during the war (although apparently the extent of 'authentic' footage in the film was exaggerated by the publicity); it stars Erich von Stroheim as the (notoriously caricatured) bad guy.

By the way CB, I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts on any of the Griffiths you end up re-watching, if you feel like posting about them.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#18 Post by Brian C » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:04 pm

Via iTunes Movie Trailers, a new trailer for the restored Intolerance, which is being reissued into theaters by Cohen Media Group.

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Re: D. W. Griffith

#19 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:20 am

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