Archive of Material Relating to the Movie Birth of a Nation, Including Film, Programs, Movie Stills, and More.
Various Places: Various Publishers, 0. Other. B&W and Color Photographs & Illustrations; CONTENT WARNING: This description includes information about The Civil War South, The Klu Klux Klan, racial depictions of African Americans, suicide, and a host of other delicate topics dealing with the United States before and during Reconstruction. The Birth of a Nation - a controversial film from before it became a film, was based, for the most part, on the play The Clansman, which was adapted by Thomas Dixon, Jr. From his own novel: The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan, published 1905 (Doubleday, Page & Company, 374p. ) , The Clansman was part of a trilogy that chronicled the US Civil War and Reconstruction. The Birth of a Nation - a controversial film from before it became a film, was based, for the most part, on the play The Clansman, which was adapted by Thomas Dixon, Jr. From his own novel: The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan, published 1905 (Doubleday, Page & Company, 374p. ) , The Clansman was part of a trilogy that chronicled the US Civil War and Reconstruction. After several years success with the best-selling book and his adaptation into a play, the author, Dixon, met with several studios, and finally came to an agreement with D. W. Griffith (a fellow southerner) who, along with Frank E. Woods adapted the play into a screenplay which was produced by Harry Aitken. Shooting started July 1914 and the finished product was publicly shown January 1 & 2 of 1915 in Riverside, CA. While the content of the film was highly controversial, the film itself was a "landmark" in film technology for the period. *It was the first American 12-reel film ever made *It was the longest film to that point, running at three hours, which was broken into two parts, with an intermission between. *It was the first American made film to have a musical score for an Orchestra*It pioneered closeups and fadeouts, and included staged battle scenes *It used hundreds of extras (made to look like thousands) *It was the first motion picture to be screened inside the White House (for Pres. Woodrow Wilson) *It was a huge commercial success, with a larger gross than any previous motion picture to that point in time (until being overtaken by another film of the Civil War South - Gone with the Wind) Of course, it is the content of the film that brought controversy. The movie details the drama of the Civil War from both sides: The Camerons' of South Carolina, and The Stonemans' of the North (Pennsylvania). The main characters are loosely based on actual politicians and their families during the Civil War. The movie is broken into two halves with the first half dealing with the early years of the war, shown by sons from both families entering the military, and continues through battles, capture of the southern son by the North, his death sentence and clemency, and through the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The second half of the film shows how the North forgoes Lincoln's policy of conciliation and begins the "so-called" punishment of the south by Radical Republicans in their era of Reconstruction. In this half of the film, the author (and the director) shows his mostly Southern viewpoint of how Reconstruction is decimating the white man by promoting blacks through terror and racial mixing. It's during this time that the son of the Southern Camerons, Ben, begins the reformation of the Ku Klux Klan to preserve the white way of life through white supremacy. Throughout this half of the movie blacks are shown as brutish, stupid, and, sexually aggressive (especially towards white women). The plot is livened by relationships between both the younger generations of Camerons and the Stonemans, while also given tinges of suspense, adventure and thriller, through actions of the two families and interactions between the families and the people around them. The reaction by the public to the film was as oversized as the movie was. This group of items was collected by a teacher and used as part of a college film history program. 1) Group of Eight Original Lobby Cards. 1915. 14" x11" Four canisters of film The Birth of a Nation: (16mm version, with sound). This appears to be a film negative, with starting deterioration (differing amounts to each canister… The number one canister has some smell, while the others have mostly light to nearly no smell of vinegar). This is nowhere near an original copy, but a copy of a later printing. It has been colorized lightly at some point in the process). The film is still supple and useable (again, as far as I know) . Heavy Cardstock. All eight cards are in Very Good to Very Good+ condition, several of the cards have small to medium chips to the edges. The cards have toning to the rectos. Birth of a Nation Souvenir Program. 1916. Epoch Producing Corporation. New York. Good. The front cover has small splotches of ink and several wavy lines of tidemarking. The Spine has tearing to both ends. Several of the pages have edge tears. There are several splotches of ink to the title page as well. Illustrated throughout with black and white illustrations. This copy has two American flag icons shaped as missiles on the front cover. 4. Birth of a Nation Souvenir Program: 1915 Epoch Producing Corporation, New York. Oversized program with a string binding and an illustrated glassine overlay cover. The overlay has chipping, tears, and wear. The program is in Very Good- condition, with light generalized toning, small tears, especially to the foredges. Scarce with the overlay 5.) Majestic Theatre Program featuring Birth of a Nation: (Boston, MA) Oct. 1915 is the listed date, but it appears more showings were added at a later point, making it 29 straight weeks of viewings. The small format program is in Very Good condition. The front and rear covers, and front inside cover are in color. The contents are in black and white, with lots of advertising. The text pages somewhat browned, but clean and complete.6 ) Theatre News Flier for the Fox-Apollo Art Theatre: Featuring Birth of a Nation (in sound). (Hollywood, CA) c1950's. One page, folded vertically, to contain four pages of text. Showing for four pages only. Good condition, with several small tears, and wrinkling. Apparently "colorized" by a youth, 7 ) Band / orchestra orchestration for "The Perfect Song", the Love Strain from: Birth of a Nation. Includes, piano, cornet, Bass, Violin, clarinet, Viola, drums /tympani, flute, cello, trombone. The piano score is also the folder for the other parts, and that score has torn at the spine, almost the full length of the page. Otherwise Very Good and in bright, useable condition. 8.) Program from the 55th St. Playhouse for Birth of a Nation (Manhattan, NY, 1940). One sheet of paper (small format) folded once vertically. The program includes: 1) Clock Cleaners, 2) Birth of the Movies, 3) A Night at the Movies, 4) Charlie Chaplin in the Paper Hanger (all short films) followed by The Birth of a Nation. The program is in Very Good+ condition9.). Dixon, Jr, Thomas: The Clansman (Photoplay title: The Birth of a Nation. Possible later printing thus. Red cloth covers have white lettering and decorations on the spine and front cover of the book. Illustrated with 8 black & white photos from the movie featuring Lillian Gish and Henry Walthall, and Mae Marsh. The book is in Very Good+ condition and has a Good+ to Near Very Good- dust jacket. 10.) Large Wall Poster from the USPS featuring the stamp of D. W. Griffiths. Clean bright condition, without tears or wear. Near Fine condition. 11. ) Dixon, Jr, Thomas: The Root of Evil. 1st edition. Red cloth with off-white letting to the cover and spine of the book. Very Good condition. 12) Huff, Theodore: A Shot Analysis of D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. First Edition. 1961 Museum of Modern Art Film Library. Very Good condition. Issued without a dust jacket. (extremely scarce in this edition). 13.) Gish, Lillian: Lillian Gish; The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me. 2nd printing. Signed, with an inscription by the author. Very Good+ with a Very Good dust jacket. 14.) Photographic Portrait of Lillian Gish by Witzel (of LA) , 15.) 1925-1930 (ish) hand-colored, and signed by Gish. (smallest size of photo would be 7x9 - can't check without removing backing on the frame. ) Large wall poster of Birth of a Nation dated 1970 Very Good+ or better condition. 16.) Fry, Henry P. : The Modern Ku Klux Klan. Ex Library copy. 17.) Dixon, Jr, Thomas: The Clansman. Reprint. Triangle Books. Very Good- (toned pages & brittle) Dust jacket is in Very Good- condition. 18.) 18. Dixon, Jr, Thomas: The Leopard's Spots. 1st edition. No dust jacket. Missing front endpaper. Very Good. 19.) Dixon, Jr, Thomas: The Clansman. 1st Edition. Poor condition. 20.) Sheet Music: "Daddy Mine" by Lew Wilson and Alfred Dubin, featuring a photo of Mae Marsh on the cover (the music is not related to the film - just Mae Marsh) Very Good+ condition. 21.) 21. Large Cardboard Circle - Advertisement for Birth of a Nation. No Date. Possible early (c 1916 ish) advertisement for the film. Good only condition. With small chips missing and several tape repairs to the reverse. 22.) Silva, Fred (editor) Focus on: The Birth of a Nation. 1st ed. PB Very Good+ Condition. 23.) Dixon, Jr, Thomas: The Fall of a Nation -early reprint (first Reprint edition) , Very Good condition with a Poor dust jacket. 24. Geduld, Harry M. : Focus On; D. W. Griffith pb 2nd printing. Very Good. 25. Photocopied score of the Birth of a Nation. Good condition - possibly not complete. 26.) Cardboard American Commemoratives Stamp page featuring D. W. Griffiths. Dated May 27, 1975. Includes four stamps plus commentary. Fine condition. 27.) Four copies of "The Perfect Song" (featuring Amos & Andy) from the score for Birth of a Nation. All in varying conditions - editions unknown. This song is the first ever theme song for a film. 28. ) Aitken, Roy E. As Told to Al P. Nelson: The Birth of a Nation Story. 1965. A Dellinger Book. First Edition. Near Fine condition and issued without a dust jacket. 29. ) Film Culture: Special Griffith Issue: Griffith I- The Birth of a Nation (by Seymour Stern) 1965. Film Culture, Ny. First Edition. Very Good + and issued without a dust jacket. 30.) A group of essays, teaching materials, etc. - some typed, some ditto machined, plus several fliers, etc. Regarding at least one showing of the film for a class - several dates. Generally all very good+ or better condition.. Very Good .
S. Howlett-West BooksProfessional seller
Book number: 44345
USD 5500.00 [Appr.: EURO 5062 | £UK 4438.25 | JP¥ 712357]
Keywords: Entertainment Archives Movies Birth Of A Nation Movie Stills Advertising Materials D. W. Griffiths Thomas Dixon Jr.