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“D. W. Griffith was the one who taught us all. He was the first one to photograph thought.”–Cecil B. DeMille.

“D. W. Griffith was a revolutionary. He created a new way of looking at and making films.”–Martin Scorsese.

Eleanor Roosevelt hit the nail squarely on the head.

After reading Fritzi Kramer’s post I ordered a copy of Peter Milne’s book DIRECTING SILENT PICTURES.

Kramer writes. “Despite the requisite gushiness Milne displays on the subject of The Birth of a Nation, he has a very clear-eyed take on D.W. Griffith’s wild inconsistency as a director. Bomb, bomb, bomb, blockbuster, bomb, bomb, bomb.”

Er, not quite. Milne writes that after having created an expensive picture like HEARTS OF THE WORLD Griffith would turn out a few potboilers to pay the bills.

A potboiler is something done fast purely to make money.

Nothing wrong with that. We all have to pay our way.

Milne is not particularly gushy on Griffith either.

Milne writes, “His latest picture, ORPHANS OF THE STORM, has proven an artistic success from almost every viewpoint, and has been quite capable of disposing of the bad taste left in the collective mouths of critical audiences by his recent DREAM STREET.”

Contrast that statement with this:


Mr. D. W. Griffith’s Latest Photoplay Proves to Be Character Analysis–Based on Burke’s “Limehouse Nights”

By the way, Stanley has his detractors too. Nonetheless, I’m with him. Firmly.

Reg Hartt 2017/04/13.





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