Two brothers, Phil and Ted Stoneman, visit their friends in Piedmont, South Carolina: the family Cameron. This friendship is affected by the Civil War, as the Stonemans and the Camerons must join up opposite armies. The consequences of the War in their lives are shown in connection to major historical events, like the development of the Civil War itself, Lincoln's assassination, and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Written by
Victor Munoz <email@example.com>
The following was listed in the opening credits: A PLEA FOR THE ART OF THE MOTION PICTURE: We do not fear censorship, for we have no wish to offend with improprieties or obscenities, but we do demand, as a right, the liberty to show the dark side of wrong, that we may illuminate the bright side of virtue - the same liberty that is conceeded to the art of the written word - that art to which we owe the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. See more »
This movie had the stockholders quaking when they saw the costs mount. It was the most expensive movie made up to that time, and it shows that silent films really COULD create spectacle on a grand scale.
One of the posters remarked on how ridiculous the Klansmen's hoods looked. Actually, the original "ghost costumes" were all homemade and there was no standardized uniform- some had spikes on the head, horns, painted faces on the masks, etc.
I myself had an ancestor who was a member of the Reconstruction Ku Klux Klan, and they saw themselves as guerilla fighters against an occupying power, not as terrorists. Today we can condemn them. At the time, it must have seemed to them that the war was over, but that the battle lines were still firmly drawn.
This film is a good peek into the attitude of the general public in 1915 about Reconstruction. It became a national obsession, and probably gave impetus to Col. William Joseph Simmons's decision to "resurrect" the Klan in that year.
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