The silent cinema's renowned pioneer, D.W. Griffith, directed only two sound features: Abraham Lincoln
(1930) and The Struggle
(1931), both collected on this DVD.
Returning to the historic era of his greatest success, Griffith paid homage to the sixteenth President in this moving drama starring Walter Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre). Focusing on Lincoln's personal tragedies, as well as his great accomplishments, Griffith's film depicts the American icon with a sensitivity and grace rivaled only by John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln.
A departure from the historical super-productions for which he was known, The Struggle was an intimate drama of an American everyman who falls victim to the debilitating affliction of alcoholism. No stranger to the destructive influence of drink, Griffith pulls no punches in dramatizing its potential horrors, especially in the terrifying climax when Jimmie, tormented by delirium tremors, attacks his young daughter (Edna Hagan) in the hovel that was once their happy home.
Abraham Lincoln has been mastered in HD from the Museum of Modern Art's 35mm restoration of Griffith's historical epic. The Struggle was remastered in HD from a 35mm archive print from the Raymond Rohauer Collection.
From one of the most important names in narrative cinema history come two films that demonstrate the versatility and storytelling prowess of D.W. Griffith. In ABRAHAM LINCOLN Walter Huston stars as the sometimes troubled leader who overcame his personal issues to help guide the nation through its darkest days. In THE STRUGGLE, the director shifts perspectives to the quiet depiction of one man's troubles with alcohol and the havoc it wreaks on his health and family. Both features will remind film buffs why Griffith is considered an essential figure.