View Full Version : Birth Of A Nation (1915)

09-21-2016, 02:56 PM
I just got the BFI blu ray release of Birth of a Nation (1915) and watched the movie, I haven't gotten into all the extras yet, but this was my first viewing of this movie, and wow it was one of the best movies I've ever seen. I can see why it is considered one of the best films ever made. I had always heard it was a great film, but I for some reason had never gotten around to seeing it, but I ordered the BFI release over the Kino release due to it having more extras and a superior quality release from the reviews I read. I can see why this movie amazed people upon its original release. It did not even seem like an over 3 hour movie, usually movies that long start to drag, but this one didn't. It's not the best American film ever made, but it's probably top 10 I'd say. Anyone else got any opinions on this movie? I am going to check out more D.W. Griffith films now after seeing this one, probably check out Intolerance next.

Mark Tolch
09-21-2016, 03:17 PM
I'm not a big silent film guy, so I'm not the target market, but I did see it awhile back and marveled at it more as a piece of history. It's definitely ambitious, considering what was about at the time, but didn't really do it for me.

Randy G
09-23-2016, 02:34 PM
Not really a fan. When it comes to American silent films I think King Vidor's The Big Parade, Murnau's Sunrise and Von Stroheim's Foolish Wives and Greed are all much greater films. They still have the ability to stun viewers I think.

I know those are later films and Birth was technically innovative but I still prefer Griffith's other films like Intolerance or the fable-like Romance of Happy Valley (caught that on TCM) where the simplicity has charm and even power. And that's not even digging into the masterpieces of Chaplin and Keaton.

Rakesh R.
09-23-2016, 10:37 PM
To be honest, I'm not a fan of "Birth of a Nation". "Intolerance", on the other hand, is an absolute masterpiece IMHO. Some of the best looking sets and costumes in cinema history.

09-24-2016, 01:20 AM
Yes, especially the giant sets in Intolerance are jaw dropping.