Rent The Birth of a Nation (1915)

3.3 of 5 from 76 ratings
3h 10min
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Based on a best-selling novel and negrophobic play called 'The Clansman', he produced a three-hour epic that, in 1915, set a new standard for film production and absorbing melodrama. It follows the lives of two white families divided by. and enduring, the American Civil War, and includes elaborate cameos of historical events such as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Costing the then unprecedented sum of $100,000 to make, it opened in Los Angeles on 8 February 1915 and quickly became the most successful silent film ever made. It grossed over $10 million on its first release. Many denounced its overt racism and wars with the censors were used for publicity with brilliant effect.
Social reformers constantly denounced the film's racism and historians protested about its claims to historical accuracy. Wherever it was shown, protests, and sometimes riots, ensued and authorities frequently enforced cuts of the more offensive parts of the film.
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D.W. Griffith
Thomas Dixon Jr., D.W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods
Classics, Drama
Release Date:
Run Time:
190 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
  • 'The making of' which includes Civil War footage and many previously unseen stills
Release Date:
Run Time:
191 minutes
English, Silent
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • 1930 sound reissue prologue (1930,6 mins), 1930 sound reissue intermission and introduction to Act 2 (1930,2 mins): D W Griffith in conversation with Walter Huston
  • Outtakes and original camera tests
  • Meivyn Stokes on The Clansman, DW Griffith and The Birth of a Nation (2015,20 mins): newly filmed interview
  • The Greatest Mother of Them All: Kate Bruce (1920,1 min): short newsreel on the Griffith actress
  • The Coward (Reginald Barker, Thomas H Ince, 1911,69 mins): a faint-hearted soldier in the American Civil War regains his courage
  • The Rose of Kentucky (D W Griffith, 1911,17 mins): rural romance set in Griffith's home state • Stolen Glory (Mack Sennett, 1912,14 mins): comedy set during a parade of Union Civil War veterans
  • The Drummer of the 8th (Thomas H Ince, 1913,29 mins): poignant Civil War drama presented in two cuts
  • The Rebel Yell (1932,9 mins): archival film in which reunited Confederate veterans recite the famous battle cry of the South
  • Stills and Collections Gallery (2015,13 mins)
  • The Birth of a Nation at 100 (2015,32 mins): roundtable discussion filmed at the BFI Southbank Birth of a Nation score recording sessions
  • D W Griffith on Lux Radio Theatre with Cecil B DeMille (1936,6 mins): the two legends reminisce
Disc 1:
This disc includes the main feature
- Special Features
Disc 2:
This disc includes special features

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