The Struggle (film)

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The Struggle
The struggle movie-poster-1931.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by D. W. Griffith
Produced by D. W. Griffith
Written by Anita Loos
John Emerson
D. W. Griffith (uncredited)
Based on novel The Drunkard by Emile Zola
Starring Hal Skelly
Zita Johann
Charles Richman
Helen Mack
Cinematography Joseph Ruttenberg
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • December 10, 1931 (1931-12-10)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $300,000[1][2]
Box office less than $100,000[1][2]

The Struggle (1931) is a sound feature film directed by D. W. Griffith, and was his only other full-sound film besides Abraham Lincoln (1930). After several films directed by Griffith failed at the box office, this was Griffith's last film. The film was made primarily at the Audio-Cinema studios in the Bronx, New York with some outdoor filming on the streets of the Bronx.[3]

The Struggle stars Hal Skelly, Zita Johann, Charles Richman, and in her film debut, Helen Mack. Longtime Griffith actress Kate Bruce made her final film appearance in this film as Granny, and this was also the final film for Claude Cooper.


A young couple's marriage is threatened by the husband's alcoholism.[4]


The film was inspired in part by Griffith's own battles with alcoholism. He partly funded it with a 1929 tax refund that had been invested in stocks that did well despite the Depression. Shooting took place July–August 1931.[1]


The film received poor reviews and was not a success at the box office. In 1935 United Artists considered re-releasing the film but could not get a Code Seal from the Breen Office unless cuts were made, so decided not to do it. In 1940 another distributor B.A. Mills considered re-releasing it under the title Ten Nights in a Barroom but encountered similar difficulties. Griffith never made another movie although he did marry an actress from the film, Evelyn Baldwin.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 123-125
  2. ^ a b Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3.  p87
  3. ^ IMDB entry
  4. ^ New York Times review of DVD set of Griffith films (November 18, 2008)

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