Birth Of A Nation, The

Browse by  Genre | Director | Actor
  OpenFlix > Birth of A Nation, The


Birth of A Nation, The


English   Country: USA   Year: 1915

Birth of A Nation, The


D.W. Griffith


Lillian Gish; Mae Marsh; Henry Walthall




A Civil War story told through the interlocking destinies of two families. This historical saga recounts the beginning of the Civil War, the destruction it caused and Reconstruction, which included the birth of the KKK. Black & White. Silent.


[User Reviews]  [Summary]  [Marketplace]

User Reviews


(Average=3.92 out of 5; Total Number=96)

A Milestone (rating=5)

D.W. Griffith was undoubtedly an artist, a master storyteller, and a visionary in the development of motion pictures. His "Birth of a Nation" is spellbinding as both epic history and intimate love story. The movie's scenes are brilliantly staged and photographed. The use of tints gives this movie a kind of aura.

Griffith elicited realistic, natural performances from his talented cast. And the gifted and ethereally beautiful Lillian Gish illuminates the screen whenever she appears. Miss Gish exudes feistiness and strength while looking as delicate as porcelain. She has an angelic face which is quite unforgettable. She makes today's movie stars look ordinary and boring in comparison.

The downside of this movie is that it portrays the Ku Klux Klan as noble heroes when in fact they were just a bunch of bigoted murderers. And the film uses racist and very negative stereotypes of black people. It's also disconcerting to see that many of the "black" actors in this movie were actually white people in black face. It looks ludicrous.

But Griffith was the wizard who turned popcorn entertainment into artistic triumph and thus changed movies forever.

The Best Film Ever Made... (rating=5)

This film is not "deeply disturbibg" or is it "only for film historians", people who wrote bad reviews on this dvd, obviously are not inteligent enough, and the film went over thier heads as it would if a 3 year old were watching it.

This film is a classic, not just for it's AMAZING filmography, whcih was new at the time, and still is breathtaking today, but because of the "controverisal" subject matter, which wasn't so controversial at the time of it's release.

This dvd must be watched, and is hard to review, but it is a classic, and when it's over, you'll find yourself pushing the play button again and warching it twice in a row!

This film will do one of two things it will either move you and make you realzie this was along with Gone With The Wind, one of the best film of all time, or it will go right over your head, and you'll yell "racism", and just blow it off, and not even realize it's a classic. This film is more likely to appeal however to people who tend to gravitate towards listening to jazz and classical music, people more sophistocated and who liek fine wines and live a more luxurious or should I say cultured lifestyle.

One Of The First (and Best) Films Ever Made! (rating=5)

Birth of a Nation is the quintessential masterpiece that puts D.W. Griffith in his place in American history as the true genius behind filmmaking as an art form. Birth of a Nation is an astonishing film which carries Griffith's heart-felt messages about trust, national pride, and racial tension, which hold up pretty well even 85 years after the fact. Nothing has so effectively symbolized a country torn apart by racism and hate so well as Birth of a Nation.

Birth of a Nation always has received lots of negative press for its portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan. Many claim the film exists as merely racist propaganda against blacks. In fact, Griffith was not a racist and directed the whole film as a view of the Civil War from the Southern perspective. Griffith, not-so-ironically, followed this film up with the equally mesmerizing, yet critically panned epic Intolerance.

Birth of a Nation deserves to be brought on DVD, as video tape just doesn't do justice to this scratchy silent classic.


A pivotal moment in film history. AfterThe Birth of a Nation, nothing was the same: not the way audiences watched movies, not the way filmmakers created them. D.W. Griffith's jumbo-size saga of the Civil War expanded the boundaries of storytelling on the screen, conveying a richer, more complicated (and certainly longer) tale than anyone had seen in a movie before. The delicate relationships, the sad passage of time, the spectacular battle scenes all look as fresh and innovative today as they did in 1915. So do Griffith's brilliant actors, most of them--including favorite leading lady Lillian Gish--drawn from his regular stock company. What has become increasingly problematic aboutThe Birth of a Nation is Griffith's condescending attitude toward black slaves, and the ringing excitement surrounding the founding of the Ku Klux Klan. Griffith, whose political ideas were naive at best, seemed genuinely surprised by the criticism of his masterwork, and for his next project he turned to the humanist preaching of the massiveIntolerance. Despite protests,Birth sold more tickets than any other movie, a record that stood for decades, and President Woodrow Wilson famously compared it to "history written in lightning." That judgment has lasted.--Robert Horton