Talk:D. W. Griffith

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Involvement with CPI and Ministry of Information[edit]

This article makes no references to Griffith's affiliation with either of these groups, a subject that seems to be touched upon in several journals. Can anyone expound on this subject? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zack Garza (talkcontribs) 07:37, 6 December 2011 (UTC)


Any information available on his mother? If not, it seems awkward to say that he was "born to" his father alone. Southleft 05:22, 2 December 2006 (UTC)


Ebert states that "As slavery is the great sin of America, so "The Birth of a Nation" is Griffith's sin, for which he tried to atone all the rest of his life. So instinctive were the prejudices he was raised with as a 19th century Southerner that the offenses in his film actually had to be explained to him." Griffith, just like Riefenstahl, was an outstanding director and a racist of the most genuine kind. Interestingly, DW is remembered for the former and Leni for the latter. This should also be stated in the article. Cheers.

Shouldn't this be at D. W. Griffith? I don't think I've ever heard him called "David" before. What's the reasoning in putting the page here? --Camembert 20:34 Nov 10, 2002 (UTC)

Eclecticology removed this Q, with the comment it was "no longer applicable" in the edit summary. Why is it no longer applicable, pray tell? I still think the page should be at "D. W." rather than "David Wark". I know it's not a very big deal so long as there is a redirect, but if we're going to have naming conventions (use the most common name), we ought to follow them, surely? I'll wait a week, and then move the page myself if there are no objections. --Camembert 13:04 Nov 30, 2002 (UTC)

Ec also went about turning D. W. Griffith into an orphan redirect. Now the only links to D. W. Griffith are on talk pages. In fact if we failed to bring-up this point then D. W. Griffith would be invisible to external search engines! I don't see how using the full name for the page title is at all useful to either our writers or readers. The only "correct" name for something in English is what most English speakers who are aware of the subject use. David Wark Griffith is not as widely used as D. W. Griffith. --mav

Per the above talk I have moved this page. --mav

I have January 3 as his b-day. Does anyone have more information on this? Danny

the film's reception[edit]

"However, after seeing The Birth of a Nation, audiences in some major northern cities also responded by rioting over the film's racial content." The PBS article cited as a source for that claim says that there were riots in at least two Northern cities but it is not clear who was rioting or why. The immediate context in the source also includes references to Whites motivated to violence against Blacks by the film; perhaps the film sparked White riots against Blacks, but the author of this Wikipedia entry seems to assume that the riots were expressions of anger against the film. It's not at all clear from the source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hadding (talkcontribs) 07:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Raised by blacks?[edit]

An unusual claim on the IMDB is that DW Griffith was raised by African Americans. Is this true? And if so, how did it affect his later views about them?

I'm unsure whether the phrase is a reference to being in a white household with black servants, or actually raised in a black family... a curious story, and if true, it should be included in this biography.

It just means that he was nursed by a black servant during his childhood. That was normal for the Southern gentry at the time and they would form close bonds with their nurses (look at Scarlett O'Hara and her nurse in Gone With the Wind). It didn't necessarily mean they would grow up without any racism (indeed, it might have made them see blacks as natural servants). That's my two cents, ayway. :) The Singing Badger 12:52, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Does his film "Intolerance" provide evidence that he changed as a person?[edit]

Does his film "Intolerance" provide evidence that he changed as a person?

No not really, he wasn't trying to make up for the racsim in Birth of a Nation as often claimed. MechBrowman 00:35, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
You are correct sir. It's a myth that Intolerance was some sort of atonement for Birth of a Nation. Intolerance was Griffith's defense of his right to have made Birth — the intolerant people, from his point of view, were those people who protested Birth of a Nation. I don't have a source handy, but that's the way I learned it in film school. --Kevin Myers | on Wheels! 15:33, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

NPOV notice[edit]

I inserted the NPOV notice as a result of some of the comments on his achievements. I also removed the following:

  • "On December 15, 1999, declaring that Griffith "helped foster intolerable racial stereotypes," The Directors Guild of America's National Board announced it would rename the D.W. Griffith Award, the Guild's highest honor."

At the DGA website, I only found the May 2000 President's Report: Focus on Diversity that is about the Award's name change. If someone finds the source for this quote they can reinsert it. - Ted Wilkes 00:06, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

This article seems to be to be quite encyclopedic, unbiased and fact based. Where are the 'comments on his achievements' (except on this page)? Thane Eichenauer 08:04, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Added Totally Disputed tag, really ought to check the applicable section. --Scienceman123 01:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

No Point of Veiw Shots?[edit]

Griffith did use point of veiw shots in The Birth of a Nation, they occur with the use of masking when the girl is looking at the squirrel and the also occur when the black soldier is watching her from the bushes.


I've added this tag because the article cites no scholarly source for its strong assertions. It may be true that D.W. Griffith was a racist. If so, then it should be easy to cite at least one film historian or other reputable source that says so. The contention that films such as Intolerance were attempts at atonement for Birth of a Nation deserves discussion with arguments from both sides. Durova 04:47, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


Griffith Park in L.A. was NOT named for D.W. Griffith, but for Col. Griffith (who owned the land originally). Source: Check the Wikipedia entry for Griffith Park!

I have deleted the false lines in this article pertaining to "Intolerance being a flop" which it certianly was not.

I have also delted the portion making the ridiculous statement that the film "Birth of a Nation" was responsible for the "resurgence of the KKK". This is totally fabricated and shows someone's idiotic imagination at work.

My sources are from the book that is the authoritative master work on this subject. The book is titled: "D.W. GRIFFITH - An American Life" by Richard Schickel (Limelight Editions Publishing 1996).

I suggest you read it objectively before fabricating trivial falsehoods about this subject.

      According to Levitt and Dubner's Freakonomics, the film "helped spark [the KKK's] rebirth".

NOTICE: "Birth of a Nation" did spark the rebirth of racism of the KKK as well as other whites, which also caused a massive amount of lynchings in the U.S. (From a Scholar)

"The Struggle" link[edit]

Where it talks about D.W. Griffith's 1931 film, "The Srugggle," it is linked to an album of the same name. Since this has nothing to do with the movie, I am taking away the brackets from it.

Léonce Perret[edit]

Hi! For those who like cinema and understand french, there is a very good article in french about Léonce Perret, a french director who made a part of his career in US. (here is the page in french: fr:Léonce Perret). If somebody feel like translating it... Ajor 16:58, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


In the article, it says that D.W. Griffith was a Republican. Is this backed up anywhere? I have no idea what his political leanings were, but he does cite President Wilson in the beginning of Birth of a Nation, and Wilson was a Democrat. If Griffith was a Republican, I haven't been able to find a source confirming that fact. I'm curious if someone has a source on that. 17:19, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Considering the part of the country he came from, and what the Republicans' influence was in the South when he grew up and at the time he lived, it's highly unlikely he could have been a Republican. Jolly momma (talk) 02:38, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Last Wife survived until 2004[edit]

Not sure what the policy on mention wives is at wikipedia -- I always find that sort of thing interesting, both wives and children although wikipedia tends not to say much about them unless they themselves are famous. In Griffith's case, his last wife was born in 1910 and survived it seems to 2004.--Jrm2007 (talk) 15:47, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Removed unreferenced section[edit]

The follow section is controversial by description, unreferenced and in a BIO. I removed it. Jeepday (talk) 13:23, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


Griffith was a highly controversial figure. Immensely popular at the time of its release, his film The Birth of a Nation (1915), based on the novel and play The Clansman by Thomas W. Dixon, was a white supremacist interpretation of history, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People attempted to have it banned. After that effort failed, they attempted to have some of the film's more disagreeable scenes censored. The scenes in question depict derogatory stereotypes of blacks, and white members of the Ku Klux Klan killing blacks to protect white women, which is portrayed as favorable toward the Ku Klux Klan members. Griffith did also say that he made the film with the intention to show how the Scalawags and Carpetbaggers began to rule as tyrants with President Lincoln out of the picture. Griffith did also try to denounce prejudice in his next film Intolerance by showing how slavery was wrong because the Babylonians tried to make some slaves out of their people who didn't believe in some of the main traditional gods. According to Lillian Gish in her autobiography, The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me, Griffith towards the end of his life expressed an interest in making a film that would be a tribute to African-Americans, but he never got the chance to make that film.

The last line is sourced. However I'm not sure if it's sworth including on its own. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:15, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

WP:WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers priority assessment[edit]

Per debate and discussion re: assessment of the approximate 100 top priority articles of the project, this article has been included as a top priority article. Wildhartlivie (talk) 12:10, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Opening Lines[edit]

Are those opening lines vandalism? I know the guy had some politically incorrect and probably outright wrong things in his films (havent seen any), but to not only use "bigot" to describe him in the opening sentence or two, but to say he was a "premier bigot" whatever that means, seems rediculous, unless this was just a joke. In which case, good one, ass-SF —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Not for personal film criticism[edit]

Deleted "Achievement" section. One more time -- Wikipedia is NOT for personal analysis or criticism. The deleted section cited NO sources but was -- as is the bane of "anyone can edit" that Wikipedia is -- someone's big chance to publish his brilliant insights. Please, Wikipedia is NOT for orginal research, which includes someone's own POV. No original research is not a guideline but an official policy. Articles are not essays or school papers. Stop abusing Wikipedia! — J M Rice (talk) 03:44, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Footnote format[edit]

Could somebody who knows how to do such things fix the formatting of the reference I added the other day (currently footnote #10) so it will match the others? I've never figured out how to do this (at my advanced age I'm lucky to have figured out how to even operate a computer.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:30, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

100 years screening[edit]

I would like more than ONE users imput on this. Wildhartlive is definitly welcome to her opinion, but I feel more input is needed. This link ( is indeed my site. There is absolutely no other way to show this event happened. Hollywood Heritage does not keep their events on their website and no other press seemed to have covered it. Its definitly a nice noteworthy event (a 100 year celebration) but what else could source it? Nothing. Hollywood Heritage did have it on its site but what they do is once an event occurs they remove it for the next one (without looking my guess is Adrian or Laurel and Hardy are on there right now). I am sick of these blog accusations. Sites like [1] (or their variants) and [2] are all run by one person, and in certain cases have user contributions like Wikipedia (the PSFL list). Those sites are allowed to link and generally added on wikipedia, I do not see what the difference between them and Forget the Talkies is.--Maggiedane (talk) 00:11, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I'd be more than happy to take it to WP:WPSPAM, but note that really may be more issue than you want. First, it was removed as legitimate violations of WP:SPS, WP:V, WP:OR, and WP:ELNO. That you admit it is your site that have added back makes it a violation of WP:SPAM. It might have been a nice event, but if the only source that can be found is your own site, then it doesn't qualify as notable. It's not an accusation, you have a website that appears to be through blogspot. It's a blog. It doesn't meet the standards as a notable source or as an external link. I can't speak to the other websites, but at some point attention will turn to other sites that violate these policies. Meanwhile, there is only your word that the site owners are the ones who add the links to their site or content to articles. If so, like this situation, then that would also be a conflict of interest. At the moment, the issue is your site, which you admit is yours and that you are adding. Doing so violates policy. Wildhartlivie (talk) 08:20, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Possibly fair enough (no major outlets covered it) though by that logic its gonna be slim pickins on Griffith for awhile. A new theatre opened showing his films (I think its on here, maybe not) and only one local news outlet covered it and very sparsely at that. Of course thats a whole another issue. Im not stupid I know saying this is my site opens cans of worms. But I am NOT spamming...I can tell you over the past few months (however long thats been on there) I've gotten probably less then 10 referrals from it...its not doing me a bunch of good or anything. I didnt even add ads to my site until a few months back as friends insisted I should give it a try. I do this for a love of silents and I want the information out there. And I stand by everything I have said. I have good solid info, and just because Im not paying $10 a month hosting doesnt make it any less so. My links will be deleted by you either way, let other people judge it. I welcome that.--Maggiedane (talk) 08:58, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Influence on Mitchell[edit]

The text says, "Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone with the Wind, was also inspired by Griffith's Civil War epic." Is this belief verifiable in any reliable secondary sources? It seems Mitchell was directly influenced by the Dunning School's dominant view of slavery and Reconstruction, and by the novels of Thomas Dixon, Jr., both of which prefigured Birth of a Nation.Fconaway (talk) 06:04, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I think a lot of people ASSUME that but I dont know of any verifiable sources. This article is an atroucious really needs to be cleaned BADLY. For instance: Intolerance didnt destroy him or his finances (didnt help, but its not as dire as most think). Ooo man someday...someday it needs cleaned!--Maggiedane (talk) 06:41, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Carolyn L Kingsley, "Margaret Mitchell and Me" claims Mitchell was "enthralled" by Birth of a Nation, and "watched it over and over again." However, this doesn't seem to be a secondary source. The story is plausible, but is it verifiable?Fconaway (talk) 19:57, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Lobby Poster: One Exciting Night[edit]

I found a wonderful poster for Griffith's haunted house melodrama One Exciting Night. I put a link to it in the External Links of that movie as I dont have a Commons account and can't upload the poster myself. So if anyone is inclined , feel free to do so.Koplimek (talk) 15:42, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Influenced[edit] (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) (and now with a new dynamic IP (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has repeatedly removed Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock,John Ford from the "Infuenced" parameter of the infobox simply because the words "respect" was used in the text of the article rather than "influenced". I would appreciate any assistance in dealing with this absurdity and edit warring. Cresix (talk) 22:54, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Cresix (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) insists on providing an individual cite for all names added to the influence/influenced infobox, e.g. he has removed Giovanni Pastrone as an influence because there is no cite for it, despite it being mentioned in the first few Paragraphs, i only suggest that if we are to edit on this basis, then there is also no cite for Hitchcock, Welles or Ford as in the case of Pastrone they are only MENTIONED in the infobox, and not CITED

Take a very close look at the article, anon 86. And please, if you will, quote for us here the cited sentence in the article (or any sentence for that matter) in which Pastrone is mentioned. Cresix (talk) 23:09, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Gladly, "Influenced by the Italian feature film Cabiria (1914)" note the word INFLUENCED
OK, let me look at those words closely. Influenced, no ... by ... no ... the ... no ... Italian ... no ... feature ... no ... film ... no ... Cabiria ... no ... 1914 ... no. Nope, not "mentioned in the first few Paragraphs". Cresix (talk) 23:18, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Well you see Cresix, Cabiria is a film DIRECTED by Giovanni Pastrone, and you know, well i don't know if you know this, a film cannot direct itself.. thus the techniques used in the film are those of who directed it — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 8 October 2012 (UTC)