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Silent Era Home Page  >  People  >  Directors  >  D.W. Griffith
 

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D.W. Griffith

Born 23 January 1875 in Kentucky, USA.
Died 23 July 1948 in Hollywood, California, USA, of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Married actress Linda Arvidson, 1906; separated, 1911.
Married actress Evelyn Baldwin, 1936.

D.W. Griffith began his career as a stage actor and playwright. He began film work as actor, under the name Lawrence Griffith, at Edison in 1907, and in December appeared as an extra in his first film for the Biograph Company.

Griffith began directing for Biograph in June 1908. In the course of his Biograph career, Griffith created or amplified the cinematic vocabulary with storytelling techniques, and plotting and editing innovations. His greatest success was the Civil War and Reconstruction epic The Birth of a Nation (1915), the most-cited film of the entire silent era. Spurned by some for its pro-Klan stance, the film nonetheless retains its emotional power. Overreaching in his next film, Intolerance (1916) a film of broad philosophical and historical scope, Griffith suffered a tremendous popular setback as contemporary audiences failed to follow or care about Griffith’s groundbreaking intercutting of four juxaposed stories that were spread throughout human history. Scoring as many successes as box-office duds over the next ten years, Griffith eventually was artistically trapped within the public’s and his own expectations, eventually seen as an old-fashioned has-been who had been eclipsed by an industry that grew exponentially in size and technique, in part due to his own innovations.

References: Slide-FineArts pp. vii, viii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8-19, 20, 21, 23, 32, 46, 54, 56, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 93, 94, 96, 98, 100, 105, 110, 112, 118, 119, 120, 123, 128, 129, 130, 134, 136, 138, 141-142, 145, 149, 150, 153, 155, 159, 160, 161, 163, 165, 166, 167, 168, 170, 172, 180, 181, 182, 183, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 202, 204, 205, 206, 209, 215, 216, 218, 219; Whitfield-Pickford pp. 62, 69-79, 82-104, 108, 111-117, 138, 159, 167, 191-193, 208, 213, 238, 239, 248, 257, 285, 311, 316, 323, 326-329.

 
Book : D.W. Griffith: An American Life by Richard Schickel

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1907-1908 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in January-June 1909 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in July-December 1909 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1910 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1911 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1912 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1913 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1914-15 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1916-18 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

Book : The Griffith Project: Films Produced in 1919-1946 edited by Paolo Cherchi Usai, et al

 
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