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The Birth of a Nation (1915)

The Birth of a Nation
6.5 Rating
(183 ratings)
6.9 IMDB rating

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Directed by


Starring (View all)
Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish

Elsie - Stoneman's Daughter
Mae Marsh

Mae Marsh

Flora Cameron - The Pet Sister
Henry B. Walthall

Henry B. Walthall

Col. Ben Cameron
Miriam Cooper

Miriam Cooper

Margaret Cameron - Elder Sister
Mary Alden

Mary Alden

Lydia - Stoneman's Mulatto Housekeeper
Ralph Lewis

Ralph Lewis

Hon. Austin Stoneman - Leader of the House
George Siegmann

George Siegmann

Silas Lynch - Mulatto Lieut. Governor
Walter Long

Walter Long

Gus - A Renegade Negro


Written by (View all)


The Birth of a Nation Trailers

The Birth of a Nation

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Reviews

A classic

2 months, 3 weeks ago at Jan 23 11:56
1 vote
It is once again a huge classic I have been postponing indefinitely and for several reasons. First of all, I always find it a daunting prospect to watch a 3 hours long silent feature and its notorious and controversial reputation was not really attractive. Eventually, I must admit it, the first half was actually quite impressive. Indeed, it was a really intriguing depiction of the Civil war, displ... read more
View all The Birth of a Nation reviews
The Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war.
Release date: 3 March 1915
UPC: 017078913828
Silent (16), 1910s (11), War (9), 1915 (7), Civil War (7), Racism (6), History (6), Usa (6), Propaganda (6), Drama (6), American Civil War (5), Assassination (5), Ku Klux Klan (4), Black And White (3), Western (3), Romance (3), Controversy (3), Epic (3), Black & White (3), Cross (2)
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Michael M added this to a list 3 days, 3 hours ago
A Movie Per Year (97 movies items)

" Runner Up: N/A"


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Michael M added this to a list 3 days, 4 hours ago
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" April 16th"


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" 190 min."


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Ricky49er voted for a review of The Birth of a Nation 2 months, 3 weeks ago

“It is once again a huge classic I have been postponing indefinitely and for several reasons. First of all, I always find it a daunting prospect to wat”

johanlefourbe added this to a list 2 months, 3 weeks ago
A Movie A Year (Part 1) (101 movies items)
johanlefourbe posted a review 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A classic

“It is once again a huge classic I have been postponing indefinitely and for several reasons. First of all, I always find it a daunting prospect to watch a 3 hours long silent feature and its notorious and controversial reputation was not really attractive. Eventually, I must admit it, the first half was actually quite impressive. Indeed, it was a really intriguing depiction of the Civil war, displaying the impact on the people of the North and the South. There were also some very well made battle scenes, especially considering the fact that it is a 100 years old feature and it must have cost a fortune back in those days. However, in the second half, Griffith went completely apeshit on us and the whole thing became really despicable. Where should I start? First of all, the way black people ” read more

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"'97 Ranking: 44"


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Editorials Named after Movie Titles (28 movies items)

"The Birth of a Vision Lindsey Wixson for for Vogue Nippon photographed by Peter Lindbergh "


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P_arnott added this to a list 7 months, 3 weeks ago
Filmsite Greatest Tearjerkers Scenes/Movie Moments (318 movies items)

"Mentally and physically scarred Benjamin "The Little Colonel" Cameron's (Henry B. Walthall) homecoming, in which his arrival on the doorstep of his old ruined home was greeted by a hug from his initially reticent sister Flora (Mae Marsh) -- and the brilliant side-shot in which the house itself seemed to beckon him back home as hands and arms of his unseen mother (Josephine Crowell) held him lovingly and pulled him inside."


xforeverlove21 added this to a list 8 months ago
Hollywood Urban Legends (10 movies items)

" D.W. Griffith’s controversial 1915 Civil War epic “The Birth of a Nation” was the first motion picture to be screened in the White House. President Woodrow Wilson and selected guests were in the private audience that experienced the extraordinary production. Shortly after the screening, newspapers began quoting President Wilson as praising the film by comparing it to history written with lightning, adding that the film’s storyline (featuring a heroic Ku Klux Klan vanquishing sex-c"


P_arnott added this to a list 8 months ago
Filmsite's Greatest Crowd Film Scenes (35 movies items)

"This controversial D.W. Griffith Civil War epic contained many examples of crowd scenes, including the ride of the white-sheeted KKK to the rescue of imperiled whites, and numerous Civil War battle scenes. "


P_arnott added this to a list 8 months ago
Filmsite's Greatest Chase Scenes in Film History (83 movies items)

"D.W. Griffith's monumental technical masterpiece of epic film-making (although decidedly racist) included an exciting conclusion involving the KKK's race to restore order. The Klan on horseback were summoned, assembled and gathered for reinforcement. Ben Cameron (Henry Walthall), "the Little Colonel", led the Klan to the rescue of white womanhood, white honor, and white glory, in a 'head-on' tracking shot. It was an intense, action-packed, stupendous, last-minute rescue finale, a thrilling clim"


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Filmsite's 100 Greatest Film Scenes (102 movies items)

"A controversial, reprehensible, explicitly racist, but ground-breaking, landmark American epic film masterpiece - these all describe producer/director D. W. Griffith's cinematic work. In particular, it is remarkable for its cinematic feel and spectacle of splendidly-staged Civil War battle scenes with historical costuming and hundreds of extras. On the battlefield, eldest son Benjamin Cameron (Henry B. Wathall), known as "the Little Colonel" leads a final desperate assault against the Union com"


P_arnott added this to a list 8 months, 1 week ago
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"THE PLOT Griffith's epic follows the travails of two families during the Civil War and Reconstruction. THE CONTROVERSY The film's depiction of African Americans as childlike, conniving, or rabid sex fiends, and the Ku Klux Klan as heroic saviors, sparked nationwide protests by the nascent NAACP. (It also became a KKK recruiting tool.) Censorship debates and protests have dogged the film in subsequent rereleases and when it was added to the National Film Registry in 1993."


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chacha.com's Most Offensive Movie Characters (13 movies items)

"Finally, the most offensive characters of all apear in 'The Birth of a Nation,' a film that glorifies the Ku Klux Klan and makes them out to be the heroes of American history. As if that wasn't bad enough, all black characters in the film are played by white actors in blackface, and they are shown to be lazy, bumbling idiots who are dragging the United States down. It's hands down the most racist film of them all!"


P_arnott added this to a list 9 months, 1 week ago
thescriptlab's Top 10 Most Controversial Films (10 movies items)

" I am a self-confessed classic film fanatic, and to me, this film is and always will be the most controversial film of all time. When released in 1915, it was considered deplorably racist, and the use of blacked up white actors did not help matters at all. In fact, the critics slammed it so much that DW Griffith made the 1916 film Intolerance as a response to them. The film itself is well written, tightly directed and overall a masterpiece. It’s regarded as the first proper feature film in hi"


P_arnott added this to a list 9 months, 2 weeks ago
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"Unfortunately, films do not always affect the social landscape in a positive manner. Case in point: Birth of a Nation. The 1915 film has been hailed as groundbreaking. However, despite huge leaps in film technique, the subject matter is blatantly racist. Based on the novel and play, The Clansman, the film tells the story of two families during the Civil War and Reconstruction-era. The controversy over the film comes from the portrayal of African American men (actually Caucasian actors in “blac"


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" Once you get past the highly objectionable subject matter, it’s hard not to recognize that this film launched American cinema. Beyond advancing technical aspects of shots and editing, this film grossed over $10 million in 1915, showing filmmaking as the viable, moneymaking business it continues to be. In fact, it was such an iconic film in it’s own era, that it was considered commonplace for people in the industry to include Birth on their resume just so they could say they were there at th"


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"30.5. Kaanonrunkkarit eivät voi lopettaa Kansakunnan synnyn ylistämistä, koska se on ELOKUVALLISILTA ARVOILTAAN NIIN HUIKEA. Itselleni tuli kahteen osaan jaetun elokuvan ensimmäisestä puoliskosta lähinnä sellainen fiilis, että Griffith ei ole osannut päättää, kerrotaanko tarinaa päähenkilöiden vai yleisten tapahtumien kautta. Siksi kumpaakin on liian vähän ja turhan rönsyilevästi. Rasismia ei voi Kansakunnan synnyn tapauksessa ohittaa. Elokuvan puolustelijat selittävät jot"


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