Friday, July 23, 2010
Deathday: D.W. Griffith 1875-1948 Director "The Avenging Conscience"
David Llewelyn Wark Griffith (January 22, 1875 – July 23, 1948) was a premier pioneering American film director. He is best known as the director of the controversial and groundbreaking 1915 film The Birth of a Nation and the subsequent film Intolerance (1916).
Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation made pioneering use of advanced camera and narrative techniques, and its immense popularity set the stage for the dominance of the feature-length film. However, it also proved extremely controversial at the time and ever since for its negative depiction of Black Americans and their supporters, and its positive portrayal of slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. Griffith responded to his critics with his next film, Intolerance, intended to show the dangers of prejudiced thought and behavior. The film was not the financial success that its predecessor had been, but was received warmly by critics. Several of his later films were also successful, but high production, promotional, and roadshow costs often made his ventures commercial failures. However, he is generally considered one of the most important figures of early cinema.
The Avenging Conscience: or "Thou Shalt Not Kill" (1914) is a drama film directed by D. W. Griffith. The film is based on the Edgar Allan Poe short stories "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "Annabel Lee."
Henry B. Walthall as The nephew
Blanche Sweet as His sweetheart
Spottiswoode Aitken as The uncle
George Siegmann as The Italian
Ralph Lewis as The detective
Mae Marsh as The maid
Robert Harron as The grocery boy