- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 35 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: March 9, 1999
- Originally Released: 1924
- Label: Image Entertainment
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Director D.W. Griffith brings the American Revolution to life in this silent classic. Patriot Nathan Holden (Neil Hamilton) is a courier--ala Paul Revere--who finds himself at the forefront of events when the Revolutionary War breaks out. He loves the aristocratic Nancy Montague (Carol Dempster) but her Tory father (Erville Anderson) disapproves. The villain is Walter Butler (Lionel Barrymore), a savage British captain who allies his troops with bands of murderous Mohicans and conducts the infamous Cherry Valley massacre. He also plans on marrying Nancy once he completes further pillaging, and it's up to Holden to rally the troops and save the day.
Griffith's film features many historical recreations (Paul Revere's midnight ride, Washington at Valley Forge, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the signing of the Declaration of Independence) and a lurid sensationalism (rape is threatened, a minuteman is tortured) in the successful style of his BIRTH OF A NATION. Barrymore is nicely florid as Butler, and Hamilton a believable, handsome hero. With tinted scenes and a musical score, this is an often-overlooked Griffith classic, full of vast spectacle, and real thrills.
Description by Image Entertainment:
Among the distinguishing talents of filmmaking pioneer D.W. Griffith was his gift for endowing history with a sense of drama and immediacy. In his rarely-seen 1924 film "America," Griffith focused his astute cinematic eye and proficiency at melodrama on a rousing, grand scale re-creation of the war for independence. Color tinted and mastered from original negative material, this is the most complete version available of Griffith's classic.
Legendary director D.W. Griffith, who examined the Civil War in THE BIRTH OF A NATION, the French Revolution in ORPHANS OF THE STORM, and numerous historical periods in INTOLERANCE, here looks at the fight for America's independence. The tale focuses on Nathan Holden, a man of torn loyalties. He supports the break from England, but loves a woman whose sympathies lie with the Redcoats. Along the way, Griffith dramatizes historical moments such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and Paul Revere's midnight ride.
Silent Cinema |
Silent Films |
- Theatrical release: February 21, 1924.
- Filmed on location in Virginia and New York.
- According to the 1924 Variety review, this film supposedly cost about $950,000 to make--a high figure for the time.
- Star Neil Hamilton later played Comissioner Gordon in the popular 1960s BATMAN TV series.
According to the 1924 Variety review, this film supposedly cost about $950,000 to make -- a high figure for the time.
- Other crew: Robert W. Chambers (story and titles); John L.E. Pell (historical arrangement); and H. S. Sintzenich (cinematographer).