D. W. Griffith

American filmmaker (1875–1948)

David Llewelyn Wark "D. W." Griffith (January 22, 1875 – July 23, 1948) was an American movie director and white supremacist.[1] He is best known as the director of the Ku Klux Klan 1915 movie The Birth of a Nation and the 1916 follow-up movie Intolerance.[2] The Birth of a Nation made early use of advanced camera and storytelling techniques. It was a very popular movie. It was also a very controversial movie. The movie showed African Americans and White anti-racists in a bad way. It also showed slavery and the Ku Klux Klan as good things. The movie was praised by President Woodrow Wilson. He said it was "history written in lightning". The NAACP boycotted the movie. Griffith responded to all the criticism with another movie, Intolerance. This movie showed the dangers of prejudice. The movie did not make as much money as The Birth of a Nation, but the critics liked it. Many of Griffith's later movies were critical successes. They did not make a lot of money. Even so, he is one of the most important figures of early movies. Other famous movies by Griffith include Orphans of the Storm and Broken Blossoms.

D. W. Griffith
David Llewelyn Wark Griffith

(1875-01-22)January 22, 1875
LaGrange, Kentucky,
United States
DiedJuly 23, 1948(1948-07-23) (aged 73)
Hollywood, California,
United States
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1908–1931
Spouse(s)Linda On (1906–1936)
Evelyn Baldwin (1936–1947)
The Adventures of Dollie (1908)


  1. Obituary Variety, July 28, 1948, page 97.
  2. "David W. Griffith, Film Pioneer, Dies; Producer Of 'Birth Of Nation,' 'Intolerance' And 'America' Made Nearly 500 Pictures Set, Screen Standards Co-Founder Of United Artists Gave Mary Pickford And Fairbanks Their Starts". New York Times. July 24, 1948.