The Fall of a Nation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Fall of a Nation
The Fall of a Nation 2.jpg
Directed by Thomas Dixon, Jr.
Screenplay by Thomas Dixon, Jr.
Based on The Fall of a Nation
by Thomas Dixon, Jr.
Starring Lorraine Huling
Percy Standing
Music by Victor Herbert
Cinematography John W. Boyle
Dixon Studios
Distributed by V-L-S-E
Release date
  • June 6, 1916 (1916-06-06)
Running time
7-8 reels
Country United States
Language Silent
English intertitles

The Fall of a Nation is a 1916 American silent drama film directed by Thomas Dixon, Jr., and is a sequel to the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith. Dixon, Jr. attempted to cash in on the success of the controversial first film.[1] The Fall of a Nation is considered to be the first ever film sequel.[2] Based upon The Fall of a Nation, written by the director, the film is now considered lost.[3][4]


The Fall of a Nation is an attack on the pacifism of William Jennings Bryan and Henry Ford and a plea for American preparedness for war.[5]

America is unprepared for an attack by the "European Confederated Army", a European army headed by Germany. The army invades America and executes children and war veterans. However, America is saved by a pro-war Congressman who raises an army to defeat the invaders with the support of a suffragette. According to the Internet Movie Database, the film is split into three sections: "A nation falls", "The heel of the conqueror" and "The uprising two years later".



Some battle scenes were filmed in the same location as The Birth of a Nation, at a cost of $31,000.[1]


The film had a musical score produced by Victor Herbert. The Encyclopædia Britannica states that "this is probably the first original symphonic score composed for a feature film". An earlier music score was composed by Camille Saint-Saëns for the short (15-minute) film The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (1908).[6]

Reception and aftermath[edit]

Anthony Slide argues that the film was largely a commercial failure.[7] The production company, Dixon Studios, went bust in 1921, having produced only this film.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Stokes, Melvyn. D.W. Griffith's the Birth of a Nation: A History of the Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time. Oxford University Press. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-19-533678-8. 
  2. ^ Williams, Gregory Paul. The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History. p. 87. 
  3. ^ Slide, Anthony (2004). "American Racist: The Life and Films of Thomas Dixon (review)". Project MUSE. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Jess-Cooke, Carolyn (February 2, 2009). Film Sequels: Theory and Practice from Hollywood to Bollywood. Edinburgh University Press. p. 30. ISBN 9780748689477. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  5. ^ "AMERICA IS INVADED AGAIN IN THE FILMS". The New York Times. 1916-06-07. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  6. ^ "The Fall of a Nation (film) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2009-05-25. Archived from the original on 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  7. ^ Slide, Anthony (2004). American Racist: The Life and Films of Thomas Dixon. University Press of Kentucky. p. 102. ISBN 0-8131-2328-3. 

External links[edit]