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The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 21 March 1915 (USA)
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.

Director:

D.W. Griffith

Writers:

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) (as Thomas F. Dixon Jr.) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry B. Walthall ... Colonel Ben Cameron aka The Little Colonel (as Henry Walthall)
Lillian Gish ... Elsie - Stoneman's Daughter
Mae Marsh ... Flora Cameron - the Pet Sister
Miriam Cooper ... Margaret Cameron - the Elder Sister
Mary Alden ... Lydia Brown - 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 - the Second Son (as J.A. Beringer)
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Storyline

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 <vmunoz@macul.ciencias.uchile.cl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

100 people have seen it - have you? (Reissue ad). See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

21 March 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Clutches of the Ku Klux Klan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (video) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The release of the film inspired many African-Americans to start making their own films in an attempt to counter this film's depiction of them and to offer positive alternative images and stories of the African-American people. See more »

Goofs

Car tire tracks are visible in the KKK segment. See more »

Quotes

Flora Cameron: [letter to Ben]
  • and you have really grown a moustache - oh my! I'm just dying, dying to see you. Well, I'm growing up too - they say I'm such a big girl now you wouldn't know me. XXXXXX Kisses Your little

[crossed out]
Flora Cameron: big Sis
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

Most versions issued before the 1992 restoration have no color tintings. Early censorship and incorrect projection speeds have created shorter versions. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood: Hollywood Goes to War (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

comments just as disturbing as the movie...
20 January 2007 | by drf12005See all my reviews

more disturbing that the movie, made in 1915, are some of these comments I'm reading...in 2007...

pcorder wrote: "Whites could not vote or serve in the government during Reconstruction, Blacks ruled in the Legislatures and this movie showed how they acted during that time. The reason some many liberal whites and blacks HATE this movie is because it is the only movie to ever tell the truth about RECONSTRUCTION."???

Are you high?? what planet are you from?? This couldn't be further from the truth. you obviously don't know your history. or perhaps you know "your story", which is not the same. benefits of a home education, i presume?

to those who praise this movie...let's say a black director makes a film depicting whites as ignorant, violent, subhuman heathens, but hey, its a cinematic masterpiece. Would you be singing its praises? i highly doubt it.

shows just how far we Haven't come...


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