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Abraham Lincoln

Silent film master D.W. Griffith’s first talkie works as a companion piece to his classic BIRTH OF A NATION, providing a detailed biographical sketch of the 16th president. We see his birth in a log cabin, the tragic death of his first love, Ann Rutledge (Una Merkel), his debates with Douglas, his accepting of the presidency, the terrible toll of the Civil War, and finally the tragic assassination at Ford’s Theater. Griffith shows his usual meticulous attention to period detail, and the framing of the various vignettes has the feel of historical photographs come to life. Walter Huston is excellent in the title role, with a portrayal that subtly evolves from laconic, wizened rascal to noble elder statesman. This is a fascinating, worthy film, and an interesting historical document in and of itself.

Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl

Broken Blossoms is an American silent film from director D. W. Griffith. This melodrama tells the love story of an abused English woman and a Chinese Buddhist in a time when London was a brutal and harsh place to live.

Orphans of the Storm

Henriette and Louise, a foundling, are raised together as sisters. When Louise goes blind, Henriette swears to take care of her forever. They go to Paris to see if Louise’s blindness can be cured, but are separated when an aristocrat lusts after Henriette and abducts her. Only Chevalier de Vaudrey is kind to her, and they fall in love. The French Revolution replaces the corrupt Aristocracy with the equally corrupt Robespierre. De Vaudrey, who has always been good to peasants, is condemned to death for being an aristocrat, and Henriette for harboring him. Will revolutionary hero Danton, the only voice for mercy in the new regime, be able to save them from the guillotine?

Intolerance

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

The Birth of a Nation (1915)

The Birth of A Nation is a silent film from 1915 and the highest grossing silent film in film history. The film tells a romance story during the American civil war. Director Griffith created many new camera effects and innovations in filming the movie. Way ahead of it’s time in many regards. That said this movie will offend most people today. The very negative portrayal of newly freed slaves (mostly white actors in black face) went on to create and propagate negative images of blacks of the early 20th century in the Unites States. This film was used as a recruiting propaganda by the KKK until the 1940’s.