Union soldiers march off to battle amid cheering crowds. After the battle turns against the Union Army, one soldier runs away, hiding in his girlfriend's house. Ashamed of his cowardice, he... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Charles West ...
The Boy (as Charles H. West)
...
The Boy's Sweetheart
Charles Hill Mailes ...
The Union Commander
...
A Union Soldier
...
A Union Soldier
Christy Cabanne ...
A Union Soldier (as W. Christy Cabanne)
Spottiswoode Aitken ...
Secondary Role
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Storyline

Union soldiers march off to battle amid cheering crowds. After the battle turns against the Union Army, one soldier runs away, hiding in his girlfriend's house. Ashamed of his cowardice, he finds his courage and crosses enemy lines to bring help to his trapped comrades. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Action | Drama | War

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Release Date:

6 November 1911 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La batalla  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Lionel Barrymore. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'The Birth of a Nation' (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Griffith and the Civil War
25 January 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Battle, The (1911)

*** (out of 4)

A Union soldier (Charles West) loses his nerve during his first big battle and runs of to his girlfriend (Blanche Sweet). She, embarrassed by him being a coward, throws him out so to regain his dignity he decides to cross enemy lines and rescue a couple friends (one played by Robert Harron). This is perhaps Griffith's best known Civil War short because the word "epic" belongs here even though the films run under twenty-minutes. While the stories might be the most important thing to many war shorts from the director that's not the case here because God knows how much money they spent on the battle sequences, which feature hundreds of extras as well as some pretty explosive scenes. The battle scenes are certainly the main reason to watch this and you could say these were a blueprint of what we'd eventually get in The Birth of a Nation. West turns in a very good and believable performance as a young boy who simply doesn't know how to handle the situation he's in. Sweet on the other hand has a strange character to deal with because of how wildly she goes when throwing her boyfriend out. You might also want to look closely for a young Lionel Barrymore playing the wagon driver.


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