The Birth of a Nation [Deluxe Edition] [3 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD] [1915]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Disc 1 - Blu-ray
  • Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (2011)
  • Spoken Introduction by D.W. Griffith and Walter Huston (including the newly rediscovered intermission sequence)
  • Disc 2 - DVD
  • The Birth of a Nation, restored by David Shepard of Film Preservation Associates in 1993
  • Orchestral Score adapted in 1993 from the original Score by Joseph Carl Breil, in 2.0 stereo
  • "The Making of The Birth of a Nation" (24 min.) Produced by David Shepard; Compiled and Written by Russell Merritt
  • Disc 3 - DVD
  • Civil War shorts Directed by D.W. Griffith: (Music by Jon C. Mirsalis unless indicated)
  • In the Border States (1910, 16 min.)
  • The House With Closed Shutters (1910, 17 Min.)
  • The Fugitive (1910, 17 Min.)
  • His Trust (1910, 14 Min.) Courtesy of David Shepard; Musical setting compiled and arranged by Robert Israel; Performed by the Biograph Quartet
  • His Trust Filled (1910, 11 Min.)
  • Swords and Hearts (1911, 16 Min.)
  • The Battle (1911, 17 min.)
  • "New York vs. The Birth of a Nation" Archival documents pertaining to the censorship battles over the film's 1922 re-release
  • Excerpts from souvenir program books

Synopsis

The Birth of a Nation
The most successful and artistically advanced film of its time, The Birth of a Nation has also sparked protests, riots, and divisiveness since its first release. The film tells the story of the Civil War and its aftermath, as seen through the eyes of two families. The Stonemans hail from the North, the Camerons from the South. When war breaks out, the Stonemans cast their lot with the Union, while the Camerons are loyal to Dixie. After the war, Ben Cameron (Henry B. Walthall), distressed that his beloved south is now under the rule of blacks and carpetbaggers, organizes several like-minded Southerners into a secret vigilante group called the Ku Klux Klan. When Cameron's beloved younger sister Flora (Mae Marsh) leaps to her death rather than surrender to the lustful advances of renegade slave Gus (Walter Long), the Klan wages war on the new Northern-inspired government and ultimately restores "order" to the South. In the original prints, Griffith suggested that the black population be shipped to Liberia, citing Abraham Lincoln as the inspiration for this ethnic cleansing. Showings of Birth of a Nation were picketed and boycotted from the start, and as recently as 1995, Turner Classic Movies cancelled a showing of a restored print in the wake of the racial tensions around the O.J. Simpson trial verdict. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Henry B. Walthall
    Henry B. Walthall - Ben Cameron, the Little Colonel
  • Miriam Cooper
    Miriam Cooper - Margaret Cameron
  • Mae Marsh
    Mae Marsh - Flora Cameron, the Little Sister
  • Lillian Gish
    Lillian Gish - Elsie Stoneman
  • Robert Harron
    Robert Harron - Ted Stoneman
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