The Birth of a Nation Overview:

The Birth of a Nation (1915) was a Drama - Historical Film directed by D.W. Griffith and produced by D.W. Griffith and H.E. Aitken.

The Birth of a Nation was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1992.

BlogHub Articles:

Classic Films in Focus: THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)

By Jennifer Garlen on Feb 19, 2013 From Virtual Virago

D.W. Griffith's silent Civil War epic is one of those films that every serious student of film probably needs to sit through at some point, but for the modern viewer The Birth of a Nation (1915) is a very hard pill to swallow. Lauded by film critics who praise its technique while deploring its polit... Read full article


Classic Films in Focus: THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)

By Jennifer Garlen on Feb 19, 2013 From Virtual Virago

D.W. Griffith's silent Civil War epic is one of those films that every serious student of film probably feels obligated to sit through at some point, but for the modern viewer The Birth of a Nation (1915) is a very hard pill to swallow. Lauded by film critics who praise its technique while deploring... Read full article


Classic Films in Focus: THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)

By Jennifer Garlen on Feb 19, 2013 From Virtual Virago

D.W. Griffith's silent Civil War epic is one of those films that every serious student of film probably feels obligated to sit through at some point, but for the modern viewer The Birth of a Nation (1915) is a very hard pill to swallow. Lauded by film critics who praise its technique while deploring... Read full article


10 Things About The Birth of a Nation

By Brandy Dean on Feb 8, 2013 From Pretty Clever Films

If you’re going to love silent cinema or if you’re going to make a study of the early development of movies, you’re gonna have to butt heads with D.W. Griffith. And you’re going to have to come to some kind of truce with The Birth of a Nation. We all know the problems with th... Read full article


The Birth of a Nation

By Janelle Vreeland on Sep 19, 2011 From Curtains

The Birth of a Nation (1915) There is no question about the influence director D.W. Griffith has had on the art of filmmaking. He invented techniques that we take for granted today. And what he did not invent himself, he certainly perfected. Unfortunately, his genius was tarnished by the racist to... Read full article


See all The Birth of a Nation articles

Quotes from

Elsie Stoneman: [Ben is to be hanged. Elsie has an idea] We will ask mercy from the Great Heart.


Col. Ben Cameron: [to Elsie, whose portrait he has been carrying] Though we had never met, I have carried you about with me for a long, long time.


Flora Cameron: [to Gus] Stay away or I'll jump!


read more quotes from The Birth of a Nation...

Facts about

Because of the huge importance of this film, it is suspected that some actors may have exaggerated claims to have worked on the film in order to bolster their resume. Among the unconfirmed cast members are John Ford, who claimed to have played a Klansman riding with one hand holding up his hood over one eye so he could see better. Such a Klansman is visible in the film and may indeed have been Ford. Despite frequently being credited as a "Piedmont Girl", actress Bessie Love denied claims that she ever appeared in this film. Erich von Stroheim for years claimed to be the stunt man who falls from a roof (breaking two ribs in the process), but assistant director Joseph Henabery strongly denied that von Stroheim was ever on a D.W. Griffith set until after Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages. Some have claimed to spot what appears to be a blackfaced von Stroheim as a voter in the election poll scene. error, who was on the set of the film in 1915, claimed that the actor who did the roof-fall stunt was in fact Indian actor Charles Eagle Eye.
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, which wasn't shot until more than a year after this film.
It is widely believed that after viewing this film in the White House, President Woodrow Wilson remarked that it was "like writing history with lightning." However, the reality is that Wilson disapproved of the "unfortunate production". It is believed by some of Wilson's aides that the apparent endorsement and approbation was a ruse generated by Thomas F. Dixon Jr., the author of the original novel.
read more facts about The Birth of a Nation...
Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
National Film Registry

The Birth of a Nation

Released 1915
Inducted 1992
(Silent)




See All Films in National Registry >>
Also directed by D.W. Griffith




More about D.W. Griffith >>
Also produced by D.W. Griffith




More about D.W. Griffith >>
Also released in 1915




See All 1915 films >>
More "Old South" films



See All "Old South" films >>
More "Brothers" films



See All "Brothers" films >>
More "Civil War" films



See All "Civil War" films >>