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Written by the wife of the great D.W. Griffith, this is an eye-witness account of both the early period of American film-making and the life and career of D.W. Griffith--a figure who has become legendary.


Starting with the early acting careers of her future husband and herself, Mrs. Griffith bases her often amusing account on the history of the Biograph Company, with which D.W. Griffith's name because almost synonomous: the early days in a 14th Street brownstone...Griffith's first films, "The Adventures of Dollie"...early production problems and the discovery by young actors they could get a role simply having the right clothes (wardrobes being very scarce)...the first appearance of Mary Pickford and Mack Sennett at the studio...the creation of the famous "Pippa Passes"...the move to California to set up a studio on a vacant lot and the first film made there, "Gold Is Not All"...the first two-reeler, made by Griffith, "Enoch Arden"...and the first four-reeler, also by Griffith, "Judith of Bethulia" (with Blanche Sweet and Kate Bruce)...through to the monumental "Birth of a Nation," completed in 1915--three hours long with a $2.00 admission.


Nostalgia and important insights into the early days of film-making are not the only ingredients of this book. However, Mrs. Griffith takes great pains to present the technical advances made by her husband, all of which helped to establish the art of the cinema as we know it today--the  closeup shot, long shot, panning, high- and low-angle shooting, the moving shot, dissolves, soft focusing, cross-cutting, night photography, and back lighting. His equally remarkable contributions to film direction (flashbacks, the use of tempo, scenery, crowds, etc.) and editing are also described.


Mrs. Griffith has spiced her account with hundreds of anecdotes about such Golden Age figures as Mary Pickford, Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Mabel Normand, and many others who came into contact with Biograph. 


Written by Mrs. D.W. Griffith (Linda Arvidson) and published in 1925 by E. P. Dutton & Company (NY), this hardcover edition is in fine+ condition without a dust jacket.



WHEN THE MOVIES WERE YOUNG (1925) Hardcover Edition By Mrs. D.W. Griffith

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