IMDb > The Birth of a Nation (1915)
The Birth of a Nation
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The Birth of a Nation (1915) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   17,883 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Thomas Dixon Jr. (adapted from his novel: "The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan")
Thomas Dixon Jr. (play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Birth of a Nation on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 March 1915 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Mighty Spectacle See more »
Plot:
The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(15 articles)
Top 20 New Year TV episodes
 (From Den of Geek. 1 January 2017, 11:49 PM, PST)

The Birth of a Nation Movie Review
 (From ShockYa. 2 October 2016, 12:46 PM, PDT)

Why Is the Most Racist Movie of All Time Considered a Masterpiece?
 (From Cinelinx. 18 November 2015, 9:48 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Good start but degrades into lurid melodrama See more (329 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Lillian Gish ... Elsie - Stoneman's Daughter

Mae Marsh ... Flora Cameron - The Pet Sister

Henry B. Walthall ... Col. Ben Cameron (as Henry Walthall)

Miriam Cooper ... Margaret Cameron - Elder Sister

Mary Alden ... Lydia - Stoneman's Mulatto Housekeeper

Ralph Lewis ... Hon. Austin Stoneman - Leader of the House

George Siegmann ... Silas Lynch - Mulatto Lieut. Governor (as George Seigmann)

Walter Long ... Gus - A Renegade Negro

Robert Harron ... Tod - Stoneman's Younger Son

Wallace Reid ... Jeff - The Blacksmith (as Wallace Reed)

Joseph Henabery ... Abraham Lincoln (as Jos. Henabery)
Elmer Clifton ... Phil - Stoneman's Elder Son

Josephine Crowell ... Mrs. Cameron
Spottiswoode Aitken ... Dr. Cameron

George Beranger ... Wade Cameron - Second Son (as J.A. Beringer)
Maxfield Stanley ... Duke Cameron - Youngest Son
Jennie Lee ... Mammy - The Faithful Servant

Donald Crisp ... Gen. U.S. Grant
Howard Gaye ... Gen. Robert E. Lee
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Monte Blue ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Harry Braham ... Cameron's Male Servant (uncredited)

Bob Burns ... Klan Leader (uncredited)

Edmund Burns ... Klansman (uncredited)
Edward Burns ... Klansman (uncredited)
Fred Burns ... Klansman (uncredited)
David Butler ... Northern Soldier / Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
Peggy Cartwright ... Young Girl in Cabin (uncredited)
William E. Cassidy ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dark Cloud ... General (uncredited)
Lenore Cooper ... Elsie's Maid (uncredited)

Sam De Grasse ... Sen. Charles Sumner (uncredited)
William De Vaull ... Nelse (uncredited)
Charles Eagle Eye ... Man Who Falls from Roof (uncredited)

John Ford ... Klansman on Horse Holding Up Hood with Hand (uncredited)
Alberta Franklin ... Minor Role (uncredited)
William Freeman ... Jake / Sentry at Hospital (uncredited)

Gibson Gowland ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Olga Grey ... Laura Keene (uncredited)

D.W. Griffith ... Himself (1931 reissue version) (uncredited)
Fred Hamer ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Russell Hicks ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Walter Huston ... Himself (1931 reissue version) (uncredited)

Charles King ... Undetermined Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)

Alberta Lee ... Mrs. Lincoln (uncredited)

Elmo Lincoln ... Blacksmith (uncredited)
Betty Marsh ... Child with Dr. Cameron (uncredited)
Donna Montran ... Belle of 1861 (uncredited)

Eugene Pallette ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
Vester Pegg ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Alma Rubens ... Belle of 1861 (uncredited)
Allan Sears ... Klansman (uncredited)

Charles Stevens ... Volunteer (uncredited)
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Black Woman - Dr. Cameron's Taunter (uncredited)

George Walsh ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Raoul Walsh ... John Wilkes Booth (uncredited)

Jules White ... Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
Violet Wilkey ... Flora Cameron as a Child (uncredited)
Tom Wilson ... Stoneman's Servant (uncredited)
Mary Wynn ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
D.W. Griffith 
 
Writing credits
Thomas Dixon Jr. (adapted from his novel: "The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan") (as Thomas F. Dixon Jr.)

Thomas Dixon Jr.  play "The Clansman" (as Thomas F. Dixon Jr.) and
Thomas Dixon Jr.  novel "The Leopard's Spots" (as Thomas F. Dixon Jr.)

D.W. Griffith  &
Frank E. Woods 

Produced by
D.W. Griffith .... producer
H.E. Aitken .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Joseph Carl Breil (music)
D.W. Griffith (music)
 
Cinematography by
G.W. Bitzer 
 
Film Editing by
D.W. Griffith 
Joseph Henabery 
James Smith 
Rose Smith 
Raoul Walsh 
 
Costume Design by
Robert Goldstein (uncredited)
Clare West (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Monte Blue .... assistant director (uncredited)
Christy Cabanne .... assistant director (uncredited)
Elmer Clifton .... assistant director (uncredited)
Jack Conway .... assistant director (uncredited)
Donald Crisp .... assistant director (uncredited)
Allan Dwan .... assistant director (uncredited)
Howard Gaye .... assistant director (uncredited)
Fred Hamer .... assistant director (uncredited)
Robert Harron .... assistant director (uncredited)
Joseph Henabery .... assistant director (uncredited)
Thomas E. O'Brien .... assistant director (uncredited)
George Siegmann .... chief assistant director (uncredited)
Herbert Sutch .... assistant director (uncredited)
W.S. Van Dyke .... assistant director (uncredited)
Erich von Stroheim .... assistant director (uncredited)
Baron von Winther .... assistant director (uncredited)
Raoul Walsh .... assistant director (uncredited)
Henry B. Walthall .... assistant director (uncredited)
Tom Wilson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Ralph M. DeLacy .... property master (uncredited)
Shorty English .... carpenter (uncredited)
Jim Newman .... assistant carpenter (uncredited)
Cash Shockey .... set painter (uncredited)
Joseph Stringer .... set builder (uncredited)
Hal Sullivan .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Frank Wortman .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Walter Hoffman .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
'Fireworks' Wilson .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Monte Blue .... stunts (uncredited)
Charles Eagle Eye .... stunts (uncredited)
Leo Nomis .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Karl Brown .... camera operator (uncredited)
Frank B. Good .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert Goldstein .... costumer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Karl Malkames .... negative: Killiam Shows
 
Music Department
Fraser Macdonald .... score arranger: Killiam Shows
William Axt .... music arranger: 1921 revival (New York ) (uncredited)
Harry Berken .... musician: trumpeter (uncredited)
Carli Elinor .... conductor (uncredited)
Louis F. Gottschalk .... music adaptor: 1930 synchronized version (uncredited)
Herman Hand .... music arranger: 1921 revival (New York ) (uncredited)
Joseph Nurnberger .... composer: overture (Los Angeles premiere ) (uncredited)
Erno Rapee .... music arranger: 1921 revival (New York ) (uncredited)
 
Other crew
D.W. Griffith .... presents
Jim Kidd .... security officer (uncredited)
Abe Scholtz .... laboratory technician (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"In the Clutches of the Ku Klux Klan" - USA (cut version)
"The Birth of the Nation; Or The Clansman" - USA (second copyright title)
"The Clansman" - USA (Los Angeles première title)
See more »
Runtime:
190 min (16 fps) | USA:125 min (video version) | USA:187 min (DVD) | Argentina:165 min | 193 min (2011 Blu-ray Restoration Edition)
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:M (2009) | Canada:PG (Manitoba) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:0 | South Korea:15 (2002) | Sweden:15 | UK:15 (official rating) | UK:U (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Future directors John Ford, Raoul Walsh, Elmer Clifton, Joseph Henabery, Karl Brown and Donald Crisp worked on this film as actors and/or crew members. Erich von Stroheim is also credited by some sources--including von Stroheim himself--with being an actor and/or assistant director on this film, but records show that the first time von Stroheim worked for D.W. Griffith was on Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916), which wasn't shot until more than a year after this film.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Car tire tracks are visible in the KKK segment.See more »
Quotes:
Austin Stoneman:[to Silas Lynch, "mulatto leader of the blacks"] Don't scrape to me. You are the equal of any man here.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Wallace Reid---What Happened to Him?
See more »
70 out of 113 people found the following review useful.
Good start but degrades into lurid melodrama, 7 July 2004
Author: gkbazalo from Scottsdale, AZ

I have watched this film several times over the years, and I find the second half dealing with reconstruction a little harder to watch each time. Although its racist viewpoint may have mirrored much of America in 1915, it obviously was not the only viewpoint, since America had its abolitionists in the early 1800s. Griffith endorses just about every wretched stereotype put forth by the south during and after reconstruction, namely the venality of all northerners and the baseness of all blacks who did not completely bow to whites. A good example is that the disdainful depiction of the black-run state legislature is based on a cartoon, not an actual photograph or contemporary description. Griffith's portrayal of northerners and blacks is completely from the point of view of a white southern racist. Although I greatly admire much of his work, he deserved the criticism he got for this film. Aside from the political racism, much of the second half of the film is just silly melodrama, even based on 1915 standards and other Griffith work.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (329 total) »

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