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The Birth of a Race (1918)

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Title: The Birth of a Race (1918)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Dean ...
Harry Dumont ...
Crown Prince
Carter B. Harkness ...
Doris Doscher ...
Charles Graham ...
Ben Hendricks Sr. ...
Fritz Schmidt (as Ben Hendricks)
Alice Gale ...
John Reinhardt ...
Oscar Schmidt
Gertrude Braun ...
Louisa Schmidt
Stephen Grattan ...
Pat O'Brien
Mary Carr ...
Mrs. O'Brien (as Mary K. Carr)
Jane Grey ...
Jane O'Brien
Edward Elkas ...
Herr Von H.
Anna Lehr
Philip Van Loan


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The Greatest and Most Daring of Photoplays ... The Story of Sin ... A Master Picture Conceived in the Spirit of Truth and Dedicated to All of the Races of the World.







Release Date:

1 December 1918 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lincoln's Dream  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

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Featured in Movies of Color: Black Southern Cinema (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

A lost opportunity
12 July 2001 | by (Mexico City) – See all my reviews

The destruction of this movie might be a lost opportunity to finally understand the impact "The Birth of a Nation" had in the U.S.

For we have now, in a 10 minute condensed edition, only some fragments of the reactionary movie that supposedly was the answer to what could be called the most racist film ever made. The story of mankind, with a special emphasis on the equality between all the races in the world. This point is made clearly when Jesus is delivering a sermon, and among the faces in the crowd you can see practically every race alive now today. Pretty far fetched promise, but it sets the tone for the film.

The 10 minute edition is part of the complete "The Birth of a Nation" DVD, and supposedly it is true to the original spirit of the film. I seriously doubt it, since at least 8 minutes are spent detailing the creation of the world right through the arrival of the Spaniards to America. And even then, you can see that the filmmaker's innocence leads the moviegoer to believe that it was really the union of two races, when in fact it was the destruction of the native indian culture by the europeans.

So this movie is, in a way, also racist (because it ignores the destruction of an entire civilization to rationalize its original premise of racial unity).

Anyway, the rest of the movie shows us two farmers getting ready for the war: one is a white, the other an african american. Not much to judge a film, really, so my voting reflects the original intention of the filmmakers, and not the result.

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