Orson Welles said of him “I have never really hated Hollywood except for its treatment of D. W. Griffith. No town, no industry, no profession, no art form owes so much to a single man.”
from wiki: “Regardless of whether he actually invented new techniques in film grammar, he seems to have been the first to understand how these techniques could be used to create an expressive language”
I view Griffith as the pioneer of American drama, much as I view Mack Sennet as the pioneer of American comedy. Griffith’s films were about both epic battles and inner feelings, they relied both on faces and impressive busy shots.
His epics and his small stories were idiosyncratic and occasionally hard, never needing the bathos of a Demille project.
I intend to focus on the films Griffith cut his teeth on, his biograph shorts. The Musketeers of Pig Alley was made in 1912 yet seen today, it has everything a gangster film should have and the makers of later good gangster films took note (more on this later).
Griffith fell out of fashion (as many silent stars did) by the late 20s, being fired from a company he helped foster, United Artists. His prodigious output and innovations likely won’t be equaled.
Griffith was the teacher of us all
- Charlie Chaplin
Griffith was a master. When Charles Laughton was preparing for “The Night of the Hunter” he reportedly viewed as many Griffith films as he good. He even went so far as to cast Lillian Gish, a favorite of Griffith, to star as his female protagonist.
Congrats on your second director, and best of luck.
Nino I love the Chaplin qoute but my heart belongs to the third member of United Artists, Mary Pickford
so much so that I almost used this fun film in R2 but changed my mind in favor of a seminal masterpiece
Thanks for this, Dennis. 2 of the great figures of early Hollywood, D.W.Griffith, and Griffith J Griffith. The place should have been called Griffithville.
you are right Kenji
who was this Holly chick anyway (:
I need to see Birth Of A Nation just to see what all the racism accusations are all about. I’ve already seen Intolerance.
Actually the protagonists in True Heart Susie reminded me a little of the antagonists in Intolerance, except that they were nicer about it.
@Dennis Brian - thanks for that clip/