The Birth of a Nation

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The Birth of a Nation ★★★★ The Clansman 1915

Lavish Civil War epic in which Griffith virtually invented the basics of film grammar. Gish and Walthall have some of the most moving scenes ever filmed and the masterful battle choreography brought the art of cinematography to new heights. Griffith's positive attitude toward the KKK notwithstanding, this was the first feature length silent, and it brought credibility to an entire industry. Based on the play “The Clansman” and the book “The Leopard's Spots” by Thomas Dixon, it is still a rouser, and of great historical interest. Silent with music score. Also available in a 124minute version. 175m/B VHS, DVD . Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Ralph Lewis, Robert “Bobbie” Harron, George Siegmann, Joseph Henabery, Spottiswoode Aitken, George Beranger, Mary Alden, Josephine Crowell, Elmer Clifton, Walter Long, Howard Gaye, Miriam Cooper, John Ford, Sam De Grasse, Maxfield Stanley, Donald Crisp, Raoul Walsh, Erich von Stroheim, Eugene Pallette, Wallace Reid; D: D.W. Griffith; W: D.W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods; C: Billy (G.W.) Bitzer; M: D.W. Griffith. AFI '98: Top 100, Natl. Film Reg. '92.