D. W. Griffith(redirected from D W Griffith)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
|D. W. Griffith|
|David Llewelyn Wark Griffith|
|Birthplace||LaGrange, Kentucky, United States|
film director, film producer
Griffith, D. W.(David Llewelyn Wark Griffith), 1875–1948, American movie director and producer, b. La Grange, Ky. Griffith was the first major American film director. He began his film career as an actor and a scenario writer in 1908 with the Biograph Company. He soon began to direct and at once began to explore the full potential of camerawork, editing (or montagemontage
, the art and technique of motion-picture editing in which contrasting shots or sequences are used to effect emotional or intellectual responses. It was developed creatively after 1925 by the Russian Sergei Eisenstein; since that time montage has become an increasingly
..... Click the link for more information. ), and acting. He introduced the fade-in, fade-out, long shot, full shot, close-up, moving-camera shot, and flashback. He initiated scene rehearsals before shooting and was extremely meticulous about lighting arrangements. In 1913, taking his cue from the longer "spectacle" films produced in Italy, Griffith made the first American film of four reels, Judith of Bethulia (1913), and followed with the then-immense ten-reel Birth of a Nation (1915), an anthology of film technique and a landmark in the history of cinema. Stung by criticism of his negative portrayal of mulattos, he responded with a more audacious work. Intolerance (1916) sought to demonstrate the persistence of racial and social prejudice through the ages. In 1919, with Charlie ChaplinChaplin, Charlie
(Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin), 1889–1977, English film actor, director, producer, writer, and composer, b. London. Chaplin began on the music-hall stage and then joined a pantomime troupe.
..... Click the link for more information. , Douglas FairbanksFairbanks, Douglas,
1883–1939, American movie actor, b. Denver. From 1901 to 1914, Fairbanks appeared on stage in light comedies. In 1915 he began making movies, becoming the swashbuckling hero of his day in such films as The Mark of Zorro (1921),
..... Click the link for more information. , and Mary PickfordPickford, Mary,
1893–1979, American movie actress, b. Toronto, Ont. In 1909 she began working with D. W. Griffith. Specializing in playing young girls, she was dubbed "America's Sweetheart.
..... Click the link for more information. , he founded United Artists. Among his films, frequently alternating between historical spectacles and modest domestic dramas, are Hearts of the World (1918), Broken Blossoms (1918), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1922). Griffith had experimented with sound as early as 1921, but his movies with full sound were not commercially successful.
See Mrs. D. W. Griffith, When the Movies Were Young (1925); Lillian Gish's autobiography (1969); K. Brown, Adventures with D. W. Griffith (1973); R. Schickel, D. W. Griffith: An American Life (1984).