|Directed by||D. W. Griffith|
|Written by||Robert W. Chambers|
|Produced by||D. W. Griffith|
|Starring|| Carol Dempster |
|Cinematography|| G. W. Bitzer |
Marcel Le Picard
Harold S. Sintzenich
|Edited by|| James Smith |
|Music by|| Joseph Carl Breil |
D. W. Griffith Productions
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
America, also called Love and Sacrifice, is a 1924 American silent historical war romance film. It describes the heroic story of the events during the American Revolutionary War, in which filmmaker D. W. Griffith created a film adaptation of Robert W. Chambers' 1905 novel The Reckoning. The plot mainly centers itself on the Northern theatre of the war in New York, with romance spliced into the individual movie scenes.
The story shifts between the British Army in Northern New York, and the colonial patriots in Massachusetts and Virginia. Much later in the film in New York, a little remembered sub-plot takes place.British Captain Walter Butler (Lionel Barrymore), a ruthless Loyalist, leads the Iroquois Native Americans in viciously barraging attacks against the settlers, including the massacre of women and children, who are siding with the Revolution.
In Lexington, Massachusetts, Nathan Holden (Neil Hamilton) works as an express rider and minute man for the Boston Committee of Public Safety. At a mission to deliver a dispatch to the Virginia General Assembly, he meets Nancy Montague (Carol Dempster) and falls in love with her, but her father Justice Montague (Erville Alderson), a Loyalist judge, is not impressed with the rider.Captain Butler tries unsuccessfully to court Nancy. Nathan and Nancy declare that regardless of which side he fights for, they will always love each other. While visiting in Massachusetts, Justice Montague is accidentally shot by Nathan Holden. Nancy Montague's brother, Charles Montague (Charles Emmett Mack), is influenced by George Washington's heroism and decides that he wants to support the colonists. However, he dies shortly after being wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Nancy hides the truth from her father when she tells him that her brother died fighting for the crown.
Nancy and her father travel to Mohawk Valley New York to the home of her Uncle Ashleigh Montague while Holden visits George Washington (Arthur Dewey) at Valley Forge. He gets sent to New York with Morgan's raiders to settle down the Native American attacks up north. Butler occupies the Montague estate. His men kill Montague's brother and he arrests Montague and takes Nancy prisoner. Holden arrives to spy on Butler and overhears his plans for a massacre attack. He leaves to sound the alarm, reluctantly leaving Nancy behind with Butler. Butler plans to force himself on Nancy, but the Native Americans decide to attack immediately and Butler is compelled to join them. Nancy escapes when Butler leaves for the battle, and she and Montague reach the fort safely before the attack. The attackers mount ruthless attack on the fort, ultimately breaching the walls and killing many settlers.The Morgan's raiders arrive and liberate the fort, saving the lives of Montague and Nancy. A separate group of militia and Native Americans chase down and kill Butler, putting a stop to his plan. Montague believes in Holden's worth, and allows him and Nancy to be together. The film concludes with the surrender of General Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown and the presidential inauguration of George Washington.
In 1923, the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Motion Picture Production Association President Will H. Hays to make a historical epic about the American Revolution, and Hays convinced D.W. Griffith to direct the film. Griffith prepared for the film by visiting historic battlefields and meeting with historical societies such as the DAR, the Sons of the Revolution, the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Public Library, the Lexington Historical Society, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Griffith used many popular movie actors at the time, but he felt that there was no need for them to play the roles in his films, and could not afford most of them anyway, after they began to consume nearly all of his money in expensive productions.As a result, Lillian Gish, who acted in a well known film of his, Orphans of the Storm , departed him after he could not pay any more for her services, and left him with Carol Dempster, who had far less appeal than Gish. She showed very little on-camera allure with Neil Hamilton, and only good with reaction scenes and had limited facial expressions. Additionally United States Armed Forces personnel were used as extras.
Filming took place at Richmond, Virginia and Somers, New York.During filming, a soldier's arm was blown off. As Charles Emmett Mack recalled, "Neil Hamilton and I went to neighboring towns and raised a fund for him—I doing a song and dance and Neil collecting a coin."
The film was screened to President Calvin Coolidge before its release, and the United States Army used it for recruitment purposes.However, America did not receive as large an audience as Griffith's previous films did. It is possible that the director had trouble differentiating between the colonists and British, since they both held origins to Great Britain. The audience is not clearly shown who are the antagonists and the protagonists. In addition, the movie's time frame was not rational. The film's time period made for a very long romance for Nancy and Holden before they could actually be together, since the first scenes were in 1775, but concluded in 1789. Its failure was perplexing, despite heavy promotion, considering Griffith spent over a million dollars on the production.
The film's climax was very original and thrilling, as in most other Griffith films, complete with action and exciting stunts in the rescue scenes. However, film critics described the motion picture as lacking in modernity of the time. The movie was unlike the other films of the time, at its original release.The story did not quite fit together as a whole and the order of which scenes were presented in was very confusing to follow, but was rather effective in individual scenes. The usage of title captions was also criticized. There would be a block of text explaining motifs and character relationships rather than having the characters display them through their acting, which is not made clear on screen.
The film was not completely useless to Griffith, but he was still in debt with massive amounts of money and did not receive that boost of attention he was hoping for.
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 independently made American science fiction horror film directed by Nathan H. Juran and starring Allison Hayes, William Hudson and Yvette Vickers. It was produced by Bernard Woolner. The screenplay was written by Mark Hanna, and the original music score was composed by Ronald Stein. The film was distributed in the United States by Allied Artists as a double feature with War of the Satellites.
James Neil Hamilton was an American stage, film and television actor, best remembered for his role as Commissioner Gordon on the Batman TV series of the 1960s. During his motion picture career, which spanned more than a half century, Hamilton performed in over 260 productions in the silent and sound eras.
The Black Cat is a 1941 American comedy horror mystery film directed by Albert S. Rogell. Inspired by darkly comedic "old dark house" films of the era as well as the 1843 short story "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, the film stars Basil Rathbone as Montague Hartley, the head of a greedy family who await the death of Henrietta Winslow so that they can inherit her fortune. When she is found murdered, an investigation begins into who might be the culprit. Alongside Rathbone and Loftus, the film's cast includes Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford, and Bela Lugosi.
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Helen Mack was an American actress. She started her career as a child actress in silent films, moving to Broadway plays and touring one of the vaudeville circuits. Her greater success as an actress was as a leading lady in the 1930s. She made the transition to performing on radio and then into writing, directing, and producing shows during the Golden Age of Radio. She later wrote for Broadway, stage and television. Her career spanned the infancy of the motion picture industry, the beginnings of Broadway, the final days of vaudeville, the transition to sound movies, the Golden Age of Radio, and the rise of television.
Carol Dempster was an American film actress of the silent film era. She appeared in films from 1916 to 1926, working with D. W. Griffith extensively.
Bad Company is a 1925 American silent romantic drama film directed by Edward H. Griffith, based on a story by John C. Brownell. It stars Madge Kennedy, Conway Tearle, and Bigelow Cooper.
The Sorrows of Satan is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith, and based on the 1895 allegorical horror novel The Sorrows of Satan by Marie Corelli.
One Exciting Night is a 1922 American Gothic silent mystery film directed by D. W. Griffith.
Isn't Life Wonderful is a 1924 American silent romantic drama film directed by D. W. Griffith for his company D. W. Griffith Productions, and distributed by United Artists. It was based on the short story "Isn’t Life Wonderful?" in the 1923 book Defeat by Geoffrey Moss and it was also released under the alternative title Dawn.
Dream Street is a 1921 American silent romantic drama film directed by D. W. Griffith, and starring Carol Dempster, Charles Emmett Mack, and Ralph Graves in a story about a love triangle set in London, and based on two short stories by Thomas Burke, "Gina of Chinatown" and "Song of the Lamp". The cast also features Tyrone Power, Sr.
Erville Alderson was an American character actor, usually portraying strong-willed or wise men. He appeared in nearly 200 films between 1918 and 1957.
Charles Emmett Mack, was an American film actor during the silent film era. He appeared in 17 films between 1916 and 1927.
Sally of the Sawdust is a 1925 American silent comedy film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring W. C. Fields. It was based on the 1923 stage musical Poppy. Fields would later star in a second film version, Poppy (1936).
When the Daltons Rode is a 1940 American Western film directed by George Marshall and starring Randolph Scott, Kay Francis and Brian Donlevy. Based on the 1931 book of the same name by Emmett Dalton, a member of the Dalton Gang, and Jack Jungmeyer Sr., the film also includes a fictional family friend who tries to dissuade the Dalton brothers from becoming outlaws.
The White Rose is a 1923 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith. The film was written, produced, and directed by Griffith, and stars Mae Marsh, Ivor Novello, Carol Dempster, and Neil Hamilton. Though this film is extant, it is one of Griffith's rarely seen films.
The Sixth Commandment is a 1924 American silent drama film directed by Christy Cabanne and starring William Faversham.
Nancy Drew... Trouble Shooter is a 1939 American comedy film directed by William Clemens and written by Kenneth Gamet. The film stars Bonita Granville, Frankie Thomas, John Litel, Aldrich Bowker, Charlotte Wynters and Edgar Edwards. The film was released by Warner Bros. on June 17, 1939.
Cardigan is a lost 1922 American silent war film directed by John W. Noble and starring William Collier, Jr. Set in the American Revolutionary War, it was adapted for the screen by Robert William Chambers from his own 1901 novel Cardigan.
America, 1924 film.