Ku Klux Klan

In 1915 the film The Birth of a Nation was released, mythologizing and glorifying the first Klan and its endeavors. The second Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1915 by William Joseph Simmons at Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, with fifteen "charter members". Its growth was based on a new anti-immigrant, Anti-Catholic, Prohibitionist and anti-Semitic agenda, which reflected contemporary social tensions, particularly recent immigration. The new organization and chapters adopted regalia featured in The Birth of a Nation; membership was kept secret by wearing masks in public. Director D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation glorified the original Klan.

1920s in film

1920s1920s filmfilms of the 1920s
Stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Ramon Novarro, Pola Negri, Nazimova, Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Lilian Gish, Francis X. Bushman, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Lon Chaney, Rudolph Valentino, John Gilbert, Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Joan Crawford, George O'Brien, and John Barrymore created some of their most memorable roles and films during the period. Stylistically, the influence of German Expressionism, Soviet Montage Editing, and realism made profound aesthetic changes to film over the course of the decade. A more artistic approach to composition on the screen shifted filmmaking away from its earlier obsession with showing the world "as it is."

Prima Vista Quartet

The Prima Vista Quartet also enjoys performing jazz, tango, klezmer, musical tales for children, and original scores for silent movies (cine-concerts). The Prima Vista Quartet is currently the only string quartet to perform original scores to accompany silent films. The cine-concerts are the most original aspect of this ensemble's repertoire which features the following titles : Feature films : Short films : Baudime Jam composed or arranged the scores for all these cine-concerts. The General (Buster Keaton). Nosferatu (Friedrich Murnau). The Black Pirate (Douglas Fairbanks). Orphans of the Storm (David Griffith). The Goddess (Wu Yonggang). Studies on Paris (André Sauvage).

Coquette (film)

CoquetteCoquette'' (film)
Pickford had been one of the most popular stars in silent film. Her popularity had been steady since her debut in 1909. In 1916, she founded her own production company, taking control of every detail of her films. In 1919 along with Charlie Chaplin, her husband Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith she founded United Artists, giving her complete control over her films. Known for little-girl type roles such as Pollyanna (one of her highest-grossing films ever) Pickford had been trying to escape typecasting since 1923 with roles such as Rosita.


1920Twentiestwenties of the twentieth century
Charles Chaplin. Alan Crosland. Cecil B. DeMille. William C. DeMille. Sergei Eisenstein. Victor Fleming. John Ford. D. W. Griffith. Alfred Hitchcock. Rex Ingram. Buster Keaton. Fritz Lang. Ernst Lubitsch. Lewis Milestone. Erich von Stroheim. King Vidor. Robert Wiene. Hans Arp. Max Beckmann. Georges Braque. André Breton. Patrick Henry Bruce. Alexander Calder. Carlo Carrà. Marc Chagall. Giorgio de Chirico. Salvador Dalí. Stuart Davis. Charles Demuth. Otto Dix. Theo van Doesburg. Arthur Dove. Marcel Duchamp. Max Ernst. Alberto Giacometti. Julio Gonzalez. Juan Gris. George Grosz. Marsden Hartley. Wassily Kandinsky. Paul Klee. Gaston Lachaise. Fernand Léger. Tamara de Lempicka. René Magritte.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

AcademyAMPASthe Academy
The school's founding faculty included Fairbanks (President of the Academy), D. W. Griffith, William C. deMille, Ernst Lubitsch, Irving Thalberg, and Darryl F. Zanuck. 1930 saw another move, to 7046 Hollywood Boulevard, in order to accommodate the enlarging staff, and by December of that year the library was acknowledged as "having one of the most complete collections of information on the motion picture industry anywhere in existence." They would remain at that location until 1935, when further growth would cause them to move once again.

Mack Sennett

Bathing BeautiesSennettSennett Bathing Beauties
In 1915, Keystone Studios became an autonomous production unit of the ambitious Triangle Film Corporation, as Sennett joined forces with D. W. Griffith and Thomas Ince, both powerful figures in the film industry. Also beginning in 1915, Sennett assembled a bevy of women known as the Sennett Bathing Beauties to appear in provocative bathing costumes in comedy short subjects, in promotional material, and in promotional events such as Venice Beach beauty contests. Two of those often named as Bathing Beauties do not belong on the list: Mabel Normand and Gloria Swanson.

Mutual Film

Mutual Film CorporationMutualMutual Films
Charlie Chaplin moved on to found United Artists in 1919 with Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith, and Douglas Fairbanks. In 1918, Mutual Film Corporation ceased production. Like many other companies established at this time, Mutual was eventually absorbed by larger corporations, in this case Film Booking Offices of America and later RKO Radio Pictures. With the exception of the Chaplin films, most of the Mutual shorts and feature dramas are lost to time and decomposition. *Robert S. Birchard, "Silent-Era Filmmaking in Santa Barbara" Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2007 ISBN: 0-7385-4730-1 * Mutual Film Corporation at the AFI Catalog of Feature Films

Keystone Studios

KeystoneKeystone Film CompanyKeystone Pictures Studio
Charlie Chaplin got his start at Keystone when Sennett hired him fresh from his vaudeville career to make silent films. Charlie Chaplin at Keystone Studios is a 1993 compilation of some of the most notable films Chaplin made at Keystone, documenting his transition from vaudeville player to true comic film actor to director. In 1915, Keystone Studios became an autonomous production unit of the Triangle Film Corporation with D. W. Griffith and Thomas Ince. In 1917, Sennett gave up the Keystone trademark and organized his own company.

Broken Blossoms

film by the same name
Unlike Griffith's more extravagant earlier works like The Birth of a Nation or Intolerance, Broken Blossoms is a small-scale film that uses controlled studio environments to create a more intimate effect. Griffith was known for his willingness to collaborate with his actors and on many occasions join them in research outings. The visual style of Broken Blossoms emphasises the seedy Limehouse streets with their dark shadows, drug addicts and drunkards, contrasting them with the beauty of Cheng and Lucy's innocent attachment as expressed by Cheng's decorative apartment. Conversely, the Burrows' bare cell reeks of oppression and hostility.

Orphans of the Storm

Orphans of the Storm is a 1921 silent drama film by D. W. Griffith set in late-18th-century France, before and during the French Revolution. The last Griffith film to feature both Lillian and Dorothy Gish, it was a surprising commercial failure, after box-office hits such as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, and Broken Blossoms. Like his earlier films, Griffith used historical events to comment on contemporary events, in this case the French Revolution to warn about the rise of Bolshevism. The film is about class conflict and a plea for inter-class understanding and against destructive hatred.

The Life of General Villa

The Life of General Villa (1914) is a silent biographical action–drama film starring Pancho Villa as himself, shot on location during a civil war. The film incorporated both staged scenes and authentic live footage from real battles during the Mexican Revolution, around which the plot of the film revolves. The film was produced by D. W. Griffith and featured future director Raoul Walsh as the younger version of Villa.

Victor Fleming

He soon rose to the rank of cinematographer, working with both Dwan and D. W. Griffith, and directed his first film in 1919. Many of his silent films were action movies, often starring Douglas Fairbanks, or Westerns. Because of his robust attitude and love of outdoor sports, he became known as a "man's director"; however, he also proved an effective director of women. Under his direction, Vivien Leigh won the Best Actress Oscar, Hattie McDaniel won for Best Supporting Actress, and Olivia De Havilland was nominated. In 1932, Fleming joined MGM and directed some of the studio's most prestigious films.

Laurel and Hardy

Laurel & HardyStan Laurel and Oliver Hardycomedy duo
After Stan Laurel's death in 1965, there were two major motion-picture tributes: Laurel and Hardy's Laughing '20s was Robert Youngson's compilation of the team's silent-film highlights, and The Great Race was a large-scale salute to slapstick that director Blake Edwards dedicated to "Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy". For many years the duo were impersonated by Jim MacGeorge (as Laurel) and Chuck McCann (as Hardy) in children's TV shows and television commercials for various products. In 1966, the company Hanna Barbera produced a Laurel & Hardy animated cartoon series.

Nickelodeon (film)

NickelodeonNickelodeon'' (film)Nickleodeon
While initially believing movies are just a brief flickering kind of entertainment, Leo is profoundly affected by the 1915 world premiere of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, which transforms the motion picture industry. The film started as a script by W.D. Richter called Stardust Memories which was purchased by Irwin Winkler. Winkler took the project to David Begelman at Columbia, who pursued Bogdanovich as director. Winkler later stated: He made David come to his office and wait until the receptionist said, 'Mr. Bogdanovich will see you now.' As soon as we came inside, we were very haughtily told that he thought the script was a piece of [garbage].

List of highest-grossing films

theatrical rentalshighest-grossing filmhighest-grossing film of all time
During the silent era, films with war themes were popular with audiences, with The Birth of a Nation (American Civil War), The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Big Parade and Wings (all World War I) becoming the most successful films in their respective years of release, with the trend coming to an end with All Quiet on the Western Front in 1930. With the advent of sound in 1927, the musical—the genre best placed to showcase the new technology—took over as the most popular type of film with audiences, with 1928 and 1929 both being topped by musical films.

Paramount Pictures

ParamountParamount StudiosParamount Home Entertainment
Because Zukor believed in stars, he signed and developed many of the leading early stars, including Mary Pickford, Marguerite Clark, Pauline Frederick, Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, and Wallace Reid. With so many important players, Paramount was able to introduce "block booking", which meant that an exhibitor who wanted a particular star's films had to buy a year's worth of other Paramount productions. It was this system that gave Paramount a leading position in the 1920s and 1930s, but which led the government to pursue it on antitrust grounds for more than twenty years. The driving force behind Paramount's rise was Zukor.

Academy Awards

Academy AwardOscarOscars
AMPAS first presented it in 1929 at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The Academy Awards ceremony was first broadcast on radio in 1930 and televised for the first time in 1953. It is the oldest worldwide entertainment awards ceremony and is now seen live worldwide. Its equivalents – the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, and the Grammy Awards for music – are modeled after the Academy Awards. The 91st Academy Awards ceremony, honoring the best films of 2018, will be held on February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony will be broadcast on ABC.

Triangle Film Corporation

TriangleTriangle DistributingTriangle Motion Picture Company
Harry was also D. W. Griffith's partner at Reliance-Majestic Studios; both parted with the Mutual Film Corporation in the wake of The Birth of a Nation unexpected success that year. Triangle was envisioned as a prestige studio based on the producing abilities of filmmakers D. W. Griffith, Thomas Ince and Mack Sennett. On November 23, 1915, the Triangle Film Corporation opened a state-of-the-art motion picture theater in Massillon, Ohio. The Lincoln Theater is still an operational movie theater owned and operated by the Massillon Lion's Club. The theater has been restored and is host to a yearly film festival dedicated to the films of Dorothy and Lillian Gish.


Kinemacolor Film CompanyKinemacolor Film CompanyKinemacolour
Kinemacolor in the U.S. became most notable for its Hollywood studio being taken over by D. W. Griffith, who also took over Kinemacolor's failed plans to film Thomas Dixon's The Clansman, which eventually became The Birth of a Nation (1915). The first (additive) version of Prizma Color, developed by William Van Doren Kelley in the U.S. from 1913 to 1917, used some of the same principles as Kinemacolor. In the UK, William Friese-Greene developed another additive colour system for film called Biocolour. However, in 1914 George Albert Smith sued Friese-Greene for infringing Kinemacolor's patents, slowing the development of Biocolour by Friese-Greene and his son Claude in the 1920s.

Joseph Carl Breil

BreilBreil, Joseph
He later composed and arranged scores for several other early motion pictures, including such epics as D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916), as well as scoring the preview version of The Phantom of the Opera (1925), a score that is now lost. His love theme for "Birth of a Nation", titled "The Perfect Song", was published by Chappell & Co. in an arrangement for voice and keyboard. It was later used as the theme for the radio show "Amos and Andy". Joseph was the first of four children born to Joseph and Margaret Breil of Pittsburgh. (Joseph Sr., a lawyer, was an immigrant from Prussia and his wife was born in Pennsylvania.)

Behind the Screen

In 1932, Amedee Van Beuren of Van Beuren Studios, purchased Chaplin's Mutual comedies for $10,000 each, added music by Gene Rodemich and Winston Sharples and sound effects, and re-released them through RKO Radio Pictures. Chaplin had no legal recourse to stop the RKO release. *Charlie Chaplin filmography Charles Chaplin as David (Goliath's assistant). Edna Purviance as The Girl. Eric Campbell as Goliath (a stagehand).

Clark Gable

GableClark GravelJohn Clark Gable
He followed that with Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (1931) with Greta Garbo, and Possessed (1931), in which Crawford (then married to Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and he steamed up the screen. Adela Rogers St. Johns later dubbed Gable and Crawford's real-life relationship as "the affair that nearly burned Hollywood down". Louis B. Mayer threatened to terminate both their contracts, and for a while, they kept apart. Gable shifted his attentions to Marion Davies. However, Gable and Garbo disliked each other. She thought he was a wooden actor, while he considered her a snob.

Frank E. Woods

Frank Woods
Woods (1860 – May 1, 1939) was an American screenwriter of the silent era. He wrote for 90 films between 1908 and 1925, and first became a writer with the Biograph Company. Woods was also a pioneering film reviewer. As a writer, his contributions to film criticism are discussed in the documentary, For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism. He was also known for his screenplay collaborations with D. W. Griffith, including the co-scripting of The Birth of a Nation. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA. Woods was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Chalk Marks (1924). Richard the Lion-Hearted (1923).

Mabel Normand

Her lead performance, directed by D. W. Griffith in the dramatic 1911 short film Her Awakening, drew attention and she met director Mack Sennett while at Griffith's Biograph Company. She embarked on a topsy-turvy relationship with him; he later brought her across to California when he founded Keystone Studios in 1912. Her earlier Keystone films portrayed her as a bathing beauty, but Normand quickly demonstrated a flair for comedy and became a major star of Sennett's short films. Normand appeared with Charles Chaplin and "Fatty" Arbuckle in many short films, as well as with Oliver Hardy and Boris Karloff, and in the Stan Laurel-directed "Raggedy Rose".