6.5/10
313
10 user 2 critic

America (1924)

The story of a family caught up in the American Revolutionary War.

Director:

D.W. Griffith

Writers:

Robert W. Chambers (screenplay), Robert W. Chambers (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Neil Hamilton ... Nathan Holden
Erville Alderson ... Justice Montague
Carol Dempster ... Miss Nancy Montague
Charles Emmett Mack ... Justice Charles Montague
Lee Beggs ... Samuel Adams
John Dunton John Dunton ... John Hancock
Arthur Donaldson ... King George III
Charles Bennett Charles Bennett ... William Pitt
Downing Clarke Downing Clarke ... Lord Chamberlain
Frank Walsh Frank Walsh ... Thomas Jefferson
Frank McGlynn Jr. ... Patrick Henry
Arthur Dewey Arthur Dewey ... George Washington
P.R. Scammon P.R. Scammon ... Richard Henry Lee
Lionel Barrymore ... Capt. Walter Butler
Sydney Deane Sydney Deane ... Sir Ashley Montague
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Storyline

The first half of the film portrays the struggle of the under-armed, under-manned colonists against the British Redcoats at Lexington, Bunker Hill and Valley Forge. Other landmarks of the American Revolution shown include the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's midnight ride and Patrick Henry's (played by Frank McGlyyn Jr. and not played by his father Frank McGlynn Sr) inflammatory speeches to the VIrginia House of Burgesses. The second half dwells on the bloody Indian War of Mohawk Valley. THe parts are tied together by the troubled romance between a young patriot, Nathan Holden (Neal Hamilton)and Nancy Montague (Carol Dempster), the daughter of a Tory Judge. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love of tender girlhood! Passionate deeds of heroes! A rushing, leaping drama of charm and excitement! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

21 February 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

América See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

D.W. Griffith Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Killiam Restoration with narration)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The inter-titles declaring the American Revolution was actually mounted to further the cause of an English-speaking civilization might seem confusing without reference to the political climate of 1924, when the film was made, and director Griffith's own white supremacist predilections. (The film's racism is evident by the depiction and referencing of Native Americans as savages.) Anti-immigration sentiment was high in 1924, culminating in the Immigration Act that incorporated the National Origins Act and the Asian Exclusion Act and restricted immigration from non-white and non-English speaking countries, favoring northern European immigrants. See more »

Goofs

During the battle of Concord, just as Nathan is about to fire his rifle, a Minute Man on his left gets shot and drops his rifle on Nathan's, causing Nathan to fire wildly. Apparently, no retake was shot and the accident remained in the film. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Negro Soldier (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

Classic Battle Scenes
25 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

America (1924)

*** (out of 4)

This film is basically a remake of The Birth of a Nation but this time the story is set during the American Revolutionary War. We have George Washington (Arthur Dewey) trying to make our country free while Capt. Walter Butler (Lionel Barrymore) tries to get the Indians on his side to attack what one hopes to become the new America. In the mean time, two young lovers (Neil Hamilton, Carol Dempster) are split apart due to them fighting on opposite sides of the war. This film was a notorious flop when originally released and everything Griffith made after this was basically done so that he could clean up debts gathered by this film. Time has certainly been kinder to the film than movie crowds in 1924 because this is a pretty strong take on the war that features a nice story, great battle scenes and some fine performances. Barrymore steals the show with his crazed performance but he never goes over the top but even without words you can see the passion on his face as he fights for what he believes is right. Hamilton and Dempster are both fine in their roles, although I'm sure stronger actors would have been better. The majority of the film deals with the actual story of the war and not the battle scenes. Griffith handles all the quiet moments very well but there's no question that the battle scenes are where the energy is at. Hundreds of extras were used and again, like previous Griffith epics, the battle scenes look incredibly realistic as if Griffith were there filming while the real battles were taking place. The story of the families being split apart probably would have worked better had it not been so familiar as to the story in The Birth of a Nation but either way this was Griffith's last epic and while it's not the masterpiece of The Birth of a Nation or Intolerance, it's still impressive film-making.


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