The Birth of a Nation (1915) | Directed by D. W. Griffith - Full Movie
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.
The Birth of a Nation, originally called The Clansman, is a 1915 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The screenplay is adapted from Thomas Dixon Jr.'s 1905 novel and play The Clansman. Griffith co-wrote the screenplay with Frank E. Woods and produced the film with Harry Aitken.
The Birth of a Nation is a landmark of film history, lauded for its technical virtuosity. It was the first 12-reel film ever made and, at three hours, also the longest up to that point. Its plot, part fiction and part history, chronicles the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth and the relationship of two families in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras over the course of several years—the pro-Union (Northern) Stonemans and the pro-Confederacy (Southern) Camerons. It was originally shown in two parts separated by an intermission, and it was the first to have a musical score for an orchestra. It pioneered close-ups, fade-outs, and a carefully staged battle sequence with hundreds of extras (another first) made to look like thousands. It came with a 13-page "Souvenir Program". It was the first motion picture to be screened in the White House, viewed there by President Woodrow Wilson, his family, and members of his cabinet.
Directed by: D. W. Griffith
Screenplay by: D. W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods
Based on: The Clansman by Thomas Dixon Jr.
Produced by: D. W. Griffith, Harry Aitken
Starring: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper, Ralph Lewis, George Siegmann, Walter Long
Cinematography: Billy Bitzer
Edited by: D. W. Griffith
Music by: Joseph Carl Breil
Production company: David W. Griffith Corp.
Distributed by: Epoch Producing Co.
Release date: February 8, 1915
Running time: 12 reels, 133–193 minutes[note 1]
Country: United States
Languages: Silent film, English intertitles
Box office: $50–100 million