D.W. Griffith Presents "The Birth of a Nation" Page: 20 of 20
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Recognition of a New Art
"The Birth of a Nation" as presented by Mr. D. W. Griffith in New York City was a revelation that
raised the standard of motoin pictures one thousand per cent. in a night. It was a radical departure to
present this photographic spectacle in one of the first-class metropolitan theatres which had never been
used for a motion picture production before. A further daring achievement was to present the work at
the same scale of prices charged for the finest dramatic offerings on the New York stage. The reception
of the production was quite as unusual. All the recognized New York critics attended the opening performance,
many for the first time writing a serious review of a picture drama. The chorus of praise
was unanimous as well as astonishing. This united verdict was but a repetition of the wonderful things
said of the work by men in every walk of life. U. S. Senators, Congressmen, artists, writers, illustrators,
diplomats, historians, clergymen, in fact men of every profession expressed their appreciation in no
uncertain terms. A few extracts from this world-wide chorus will serve to illustrate the case:
"It shows war as it actually is."'
-RICHARD HARDING DAVIS
"In the short space of three hours the audience
sees, hears and feels a period of fifteen years."
-REv. FATHER JoHN TALBOT SMITH
"It will take the whole country by storm."
"I know it is true because I lived through the
actual realities it depicts."
-REv. THOMAS B. GREGORY
"It is worth $5 a seat."
--New York Evening Journal
"You see, astheangelslooking down from Heaven |
must have seen, exactly what took place fifty .~/
years ago." -DOROTHY Dix
"The biggest attraction of the season. It brings
the audiences to their feet as no theatrical play
has in many, many years."
-JAMES S. METCALFE, in Life
"The most glorious accomplishment in any art
I have ever seen."
-GOVERNOR HIRAM JOHNSON Of California
"Only a genius could have conceived and pro
duced such an inspiring spectacle."
-AMY LESLIE, Chicago Daily News
"Never before has such a combination of spec"The
true greatness of the picture lies in its tacle and tense drama been seen." -N. Y. Sun
emotional appeal." -New York News
"Achieved a striking degree of success."
"A new epoch in the art is reached."
Chicago Tribun that ha-
bNew York Times
-New York Herald
"It is big and fine." -Evening World
"Wins popularity because of its thrilling war "Swept a sophisticated audience like a prairie
scenes." fire before a whirlwind." _^ York Mail
"A masterpiece of a new form of art." "Beyond doubt the most extraordinary picture
--Chicago Tribune that has been seen." --,e York Globe
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Griffith, D.W. D.W. Griffith Presents "The Birth of a Nation", book, April 1, 1924; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth21924/m1/20/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boyce Ditto Public Library.