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D.W. Griffith: his life and work

Author: Robert M Henderson; Rouben Mamoulian Collection (Library of Congress)
Publisher: New York, Oxford University Press, 1972.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"It has been said that after Griffith, nothing new has been added to the motion picture. The one-time Kentucky farm boy, high school dropout and itinerant stock company actor revolutionized the movie industry, transforming a fledgling attraction into the world's most powerful entertainment medium. D.W. Griffith produced and directed The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Broken Blossoms, and Orphans of the Storm. He  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Henderson, Robert M.
D.W. Griffith: his life and work.
New York, Oxford University Press, 1972
(OCoLC)574603477
Named Person: D W Griffith; D W Griffith; D W Griffith
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Robert M Henderson; Rouben Mamoulian Collection (Library of Congress)
ISBN: 019501541X 9780195015416
OCLC Number: 298505
Description: ix, 326 pages illustrations 24 cm
Contents: From playwright to screen writer --
All the Griffiths, together --
Biograph : the beginning --
An actor prepares --
On location : perfecting the art --
California : the new horizon --
Graduation from Biograph --
The climax at Biograph : Judith of Bethulia --
Creation of a monument : The Birth of a Nation --
Masterpiece and failure : Intolerance --
The road to independence --
Independence : Griffith's own studio, Mamaroneck --
The end of independence : Orphans of the Storm --
Lockstep to oblivion : Griffith, the employee --
Postscript: Accolades and unemployment.
Responsibility: [by] Robert M. Henderson.

Abstract:

"It has been said that after Griffith, nothing new has been added to the motion picture. The one-time Kentucky farm boy, high school dropout and itinerant stock company actor revolutionized the movie industry, transforming a fledgling attraction into the world's most powerful entertainment medium. D.W. Griffith produced and directed The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Broken Blossoms, and Orphans of the Storm. He launched the screen careers of Mary Pickford, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, and Lionel Barrymore. From the ranks of his assistants came Erich von Stroheim, Raoul Walsh, and Mack Sennett. Yet the man who was known as "the Master" and "the Belasco of the screen" ended his career in obscurity, unemployed and ignored by the industry he had helped create. With compassion and clarity, this book traces the rise and fall of David Wark Griffith. It presents a fully faceted portrait of a theatrical personality who lived by grandiloquent gestures and practiced exaggerated Southern gentility. [Author] Henderson traces Griffith's Confederate background; describes his early years on the stage as an actor and aspiring playwright; and then details his film career, from the first directorial assignments at Biograph Films, where he made more than four hundred one- and two-reel movies in five years, to the pathetic final years on the fringes of Hollywood. Griffith's faults are observed, his genius is explored, his financial difficulties are explained, and the infant colossus that was Hollywood in the days prior to the First World War is brought vividly to life. Griffith's two masterpieces, The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, influenced a generation, or more, of filmmakers, notably the Soviet giant Eisenstein. Between 1908 and 1915, Griffith invented the basic syntax of the motion picture. He demonstrated, or devised, the dramatic use of the close-up, the fade-out, the scenic long shot, and above all, the use of film editing. His series of feature films, in widely different styles, remain anchor points in any examination of cinema art. This eloquent biography details the full story of Griffith's achievements. It is a masterful life-and-times study of the pioneer movie director who became the seminal figure in American film."--Jacket.

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