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D.W. Griffith : Feature Film Years

Year: 1975, 27 mins
Code: CAT-Dwfea

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Second part of a two part series on the great film director D.W. Griffith.

Ron Mottram, professor of cinema history and director of the Griffith Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, 1975. Mottram here interviews silent film star Lillian Gish about Griffith.

Film excerpts include portions of "Way Down East" (1920), "Intolerance" (1916), "True Heart Susie" (1919) and "Birth of a Nation."

Ms. Gish reminisces about the long hours, dangerous situations, and the presentation of character without recourse to spoken dialogue.

Other topics: changes in Hollywood, how Griffith was always in money difficulties, his unsuccessful career at Paramount - couldn't work with a script, "things came from his own mind, " Paramount gave him "no free rein." The plot element of the last minute rescue was created and perfected by Griffith. His quiet scenes as good as his spectacles. Homecoming themes important to him. How Griffith created historical film with great crowds of people.

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