Birth of a Nation, The

Lists: Race Relations in America (started by WTOP), Drama, Historical, Epic

Brief Synopsis: "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."

Overall Ranking: 0 (Rank from 1915: # 0)

Adjusted* Rating:
(lowest rating dropped)

Ratings Breakdown
(The Mixed Bag)

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Streaming Options

Reviewer Rating Review Secondary Ratings
David Baruffi80(full review)
Thomas Pollock70

People Involved

  • 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)
  • Joseph Henabery (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Josephine Crowell (Mrs. Cameron)
  • Spottiswoode Aitken (Dr. Cameron)
  • Jennie Lee (Mammy)
  • George Siegmann (Silas Lynch)
  • Elmer Clifton (Phil Stoneman)
  • George Beranger (Wade Cameron)
  • Maxfield Stanley (Duke Cameron)
  • Donald Crisp (Gen. Ulysses S. Grant)
  • Howard Gaye (Gen. Robert E. Lee)
  • Thomas F. Dixon Jr. (Director)