~The Birth Of A Nation~
1915
~Lillian Gish~
~Plot Synopsis~
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.

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson, Allmovie.com
Directed by: D. W. Griffith

Written by:
D.W. Griffith - writer
Frank E. Woods - writer

Based on the novel "The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux
Klan," the play "The Clansman" and the novel "The Leopard's Spots" by
Thomas F. Dixon Jr.
~Cast~

Lillian Gish ...  Elsie Stoneman
Mae Marsh ...  Flora Cameron
Henry B. Walthall ...  Col. Ben Cameron
Miriam Cooper ...  Margaret Cameron
Mary Alden ...  Lydia Brown
Ralph Lewis ...  Austin Stoneman
George Siegmann ...  Silas Lynch
Walter Long ...  Gus
Robert Harron ...  Tod Stoneman
Wallace Reid ...  Jeff (blacksmith)
Joseph Henabery ...  Abraham Lincoln / 13 other bits
Elmer Clifton ...  Phil Stoneman
Josephine Crowell ...  Mrs. Cameron
Spottiswoode Aitken ...  Dr. Cameron
George Beranger ...  Wade Cameron (as J.A. Beringer)
Maxfield Stanley ...  Duke Cameron
Jennie Lee ...  Mammy
Donald Crisp ...  Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Howard Gaye ...  Gen. Robert E. Lee
Tom Wilson ...  Stoneman's servant (as Thomas Wilson)
Monte Blue ...  Bit Role (uncredited)
Bobby Burns ...  Klan leader (uncredited)
Edmund Burns ...  Klansman (uncredited)
Edward Burns ...  Klansman (uncredited)
Fred Burns ...  Klansman (uncredited)
David Butler ...  Northern soldier / Confederate soldier (uncredited)
Peggy Cartwright ...  Young girl (uncredited)
William E. Cassidy ...  Bit Role (uncredited)
Dark Cloud ...  A general (uncredited)
Lenore Cooper ...  Elsie's maid (uncredited)
Sam De Grasse ...  Sen. Sumner (uncredited)
William De Vaull ...  Jake (uncredited)
Charles Eagle Eye ...  Man who falls from roof (uncredited)
John Ford ...  Klansman on horse holding up hood with hand (uncredited)
Alberta Franklin ...  (uncredited)
William Freeman ...  The sentry (uncredited)
Gibson Gowland ...  Bit Role (uncredited)
Olga Grey ...  Laura Keene (uncredited)
Fred Hamer ...  (uncredited)
Russell Hicks ...  (uncredited)
Charles King ...  Undetermined Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Alberta Lee ...  Mrs. Lincoln (uncredited)
Elmo Lincoln ...  Blacksmith (uncredited)
Donna Montran ...  Belles of 1861 (uncredited)
Eugene Pallette ...  Union soldier (uncredited)
Vester Pegg ...  (uncredited)
Alma Rubens ...  Belles of 1861 (uncredited)
Allan Sears ...  Klansman (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ...  Volunteer (uncredited)
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ...  Black woman (Dr. Cameron's taunter) (uncredited)
Raoul Walsh ...  John Wilkes Booth (uncredited)
Jules White ...  (uncredited)
Violet Wilkey ...  Flora as a child (uncredited)
Mary Wynn ...  (uncredited)
George Walsh ... minor role
Counter
Follow silentworlds on Twitter
Share |
~Remaining Credits~

Produced by: David W. Griffith Corporation and Epoch Producing Corporation

Distribution Company: Epoch Producing Corporation

Producer: D.W. Griffith
Executive Producer: H.E. Aitken
Music by: Joseph Carl Breil and
D.W. Griffith
Cinematography by: G.W. Bitzer
Film Editing by:
D.W. Griffith, Joseph Henabery, James Smith, Rose Smith and Raoul Walsh    
Costume Design by: Robert Goldstein and Clare West
Chief Assistant Director: George Siegmann
Unit Production Manager: Dave Friedman (uncredited)  
Assistant Directors:
Monte Blue, Christy Cabanne, Elmer Clifton, Jack Conway, Donald Crisp, Allan Dwan,
Howard Gaye, Fred Hamer, Robert Harron, Joseph Henabery, Thomas E. O'Brien, Herbert Sutch, W.S. Van
Dyke,
Erich von Stroheim, Baron von Winther, Raoul Walsh, Henry B. Walthall and Tom Wilson
Property Master: Ralph M. DeLacy
Carpenter: Shorty English
Assistant Carpenter: Jim Newman
Set Painters: Cash Shockey and Joseph Stringer
Assistant Property Manager: Hal Sullivan
Set Designer: Frank Wortman
Special Effects Supervisor: Walter Hoffman
Special Effects: 'Fireworks' Wilson
Stunts: Monte Blue, Charles Eagle Eye and Leo Nomis
Camera Operator: Karl Brown
Assistant Camera: Frank B. Good
Costumer: Robert Goldstein
Presenter:
D.W. Griffith
Security Officer: Jim Kidd
Laboratory Technician: Abe Scholtz

Length: 12 Reels
Runtime: 3 Hours 7  Minutes (DVD)
Released: February 8, 1915
Other Links That You Might Find Helpful to you for this film:

SilentHollywood.com Discussion Group on Facebook
Internet Movie Database
Allmovie.com
Turner Classic Movies
American Film Institute
.