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D. W. Griffith

David Wark Griffith (January 22, 1875 – July 23, 1948) was an American film director. Considered one of the most influential figures in the history of the motion picture, he pioneered many aspects of film editing and expanded the art of the narrative film.

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 support to the Confederacy, and its racist viewpoint. The film led to riots in several major cities all over the United States, and the NAACP attempted to have the film banned. Griffith made his next film Intolerance (1916) as an answer to critics, who he felt unfairly maligned his work.

Together with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, Griffith founded the studio United Artists in 1919 with the goal of enabling actors and directors to make films on their own terms as opposed to the terms of commercial studios. Several of Griffith's later films were successful, including Broken Blossoms (1919), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1921), but the high costs he incurred for production and promotion often led to commercial failure. He had made roughly 500 films by the time of The Struggle (1931), his final feature, and all but three were completely silent.

Griffith has a controversial legacy. Despite criticism, he was a widely celebrated and respected public figure during his life, and modern film historians continue to recognize him for his contributions to the craft of filmmaking. Nevertheless, many critics have characterized both Griffith and his work (most notably, The Birth of a Nation) as upholding white supremacist ideals both during his life and in the decades that have followed since his death. Historians frequently cite The Birth of a Nation as a major factor in the KKK's revival in the 20th century, and it remains controversial to this day.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 22, 1875 (La Grange), Died July 23, 1948 (Hollywood)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1931 - 1933

Roles Represented in DAHR: session supervisor, speaker

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor MVE-70886 16-in. 10/27/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with dubbed recording session supervisor  
Victor MVE-70887 16-in. 10/27/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with dubbed recordings session supervisor  
Victor MVE-70888 16-in. 10/27/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Film to wax transfer session supervisor  
Victor MVE-70889 16-in. 10/28/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with dubbed recording session supervisor  
Victor MVE-70890 16-in. 10/28/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Film to wax transfer session supervisor  
Victor MVE-70891 16-in. 10/28/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Film to wax transfer session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71056 35mm film 11/8/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with dubbed recording session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71057 35mm film 11/8/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with dubbed recordings session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71058 35mm film 11/8/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71059 35mm film 11/8/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with dubbed recording session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71060 35mm film 11/8/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71061 35mm film 11/8/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71062 35mm film 11/9/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with dubbed reocrding session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71063 35mm film 11/9/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71064 35mm film 11/10/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack : Re-recording from film, with female vocal solo and organ session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71065 35mm film 11/9/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack session supervisor  
Victor FVE-71066 35mm film 11/10/1931 The struggle D. W. Griffith, Inc. Motion picture soundtrack session supervisor  
Victor LCS-75348 12-in. (33-1/3 rpm) 3/1/1933 D. W. Griffith's Hollywood D. W. Griffith Radio broadcast speaker  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Griffith, D. W.," accessed July 20, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102447.

Griffith, D. W.. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102447.

"Griffith, D. W.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 20 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102447

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