erik lundegaard

Wednesday August 31, 2022

What is D.W. Griffith 'Known For'?

How much is IMDb/Amazon warping our history? Here's D.W. Griffith's Wikipedia page, second graf. I mean it says it right there:

Griffith is known to modern audiences primarily for directing the film The Birth of a Nation (1915). One of the most financially successful films of all time, it made investors enormous profits, but it also attracted much controversy for its degrading portrayals of African Americans, its glorification of the Ku Klux Klan, and its racist viewpoint.

Here's an obit from 1948:


Here's a comparison of these four films using IMDb's own stats:

Rnk Movie Quotes Trivia Movie Connects Critic Rvws User Rvws Rating No. of Ratings
1 Intolerance 31 46 105 76 125 7.7 15,576
2 The Mother and the Law 0 3 1 1 4 7.1 210
3 The Birth of a Nation 26 79 260 80 380 6.2 24,748
4 Broken Blossoms 18 20 42 76 96 7.3 10,360

In terms of engagement/interest, “Birth” trumps everything. I mean, I'd go in this order: “Birth,” “Intolerance,” “Broken Blossoms,” and then maybe “Abraham Lincoln”? I'll leave the last one to true film historians or Griffith scholars. But “The Mother and the Law”? Which is simply a portion of “Intolerance” released three years later? Putting that ahead of “Birth of a Nation”? I'm intolerant of that. 

Yes, it's not as bad as IMDb's “Known For” for Thomas Dixon, but it's not good. I'm almost getting the feeling IMDb doesn't take its role as the repostiory of our online movie information very seriously.

Posted at 05:15 PM on Wednesday August 31, 2022 in category Movies  
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