|Griffith's film is controversial, but very significant.|
Directed by D.W. Griffith
Produced by D.W. Griffith
Written by Thomas Dixon Jr., D.W. Griffith and Frank E. Woods
Starring Henry B. Walthall, Lillian Gish and Mae Marsh
Plot Summary: The story follows two families during the Civil War and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.
Significance: Considered one of the greatest and most influential films of all time, it was featured in the 1998 American Film Institute Top 100 list (at #44) and in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#323 in the critics poll). It was also placed in the National Film Preservation Board's Film Registry, as an American film of significant merit.
Thoughts: Griffith's epic American tale is not without controversy over its portrayal of African Americans and the Ku Klux Klan, but it's a stunning achievement in terms of filmmaking. Though it's almost 100 years old, it remains a captivating spectacle, particularly after the first hour, which has its ups and downs. The film has several remarkable scenes, like the big Civil War battle, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the final action sequence. Despite the offensive content, Griffith really did a masterful job, especially regarding cinematography and editing. This innovative film might have objectionable material, but its importance in the development of filmmaking techniques is undeniable, which makes it a must-watch for movie lovers. If you can stomach some of the controversial elements, it's a very well-made film that I'd recommend, if only for historical reasons.