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Mr. Griffith's House with Closed Shutters: The Long Buried Secret That Turned Lawrence Into D.W. Paperback – June 8, 2012
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About the Author
William M. Drew, M.A., Summa cum laude, is the author of several books, including "D. W. Griffith's 'Intolerance: Its Genesis and Its Vision," "Speaking of Silents: First Ladies of the Screen," "At the Center of the Frame: Leading Ladies of the Twenties and Thirties," and "The Last Silent Picture Show: Silent Films on American Screens in the 1930s." He has written numerous articles for film journals and has been a consultant on film history documentaries.
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Top customer reviews
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A few years ago, I became fascinated with the story of the early death and very recent resurrection of Fritz Lang's film, "Metropolis" (1927). That story could be said to represent a rare example of the triumph of art over the corrosive effects of the ignorance, need for power, ambition, and jealousy of the "real world."
I cannot recall what first prompted me to see D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance." But afterwards, I could not reconcile its humanity and power with the negative characterizations I had read about the director of "The Birth of a Nation." Intrigued, I next sought out "The Birth of a Nation," the movie cited by Griffith detractors as prima facie evidence for his unworthiness as an artist and even as a human being. And again, I experienced a disconnect between the man revealed in his art and craft and his characterization by his harshest critics.
Now even more intrigued, I looked for the most recent books on D.W. Griffith and came across this one by William M. Drew. In it, the author provides insights, opinions, and perspectives well-supported by research that challenge the truth of the most negative prevailing views on D.W. Griffith. The conviction of Mr. Drew's point-by-point correction of the record on the director and the quality of his evidence and scholarship demand attention. He makes claims that, if true, can and should return D.W. Griffith to his deserved place in the popular mind as America's first great film pioneer.
Stated another way, the portrait of David Wark Griffith that emerges from William Drew's pages IS congruent with the Griffith film art I have experienced. I have a sense that, like "Metropolis," the power of Griffith's art will drive the eventual restoration of his reputation. Mr. Drew's book will hopefully accelerate this process, and I look forward to following its impact on Griffith scholarship.
William M. Drew. The book reveals the intense, volatile romance that very well could have shaped the life of a man considered a genius in his own time. It's time Griffith, the man and his works, are revisited and he is given credit for the ground-breaking masterpieces and film innovations he brought to the screen. It is important to have some knowledge of D.W. Griffith before diving into the passions of his earlier years. But, the story and its influences is well worth the read. I highly recommend it.
The book is divided into two parts the Narrative; that is the story that I found so exciting and of course we are influenced by what we live through so in the second part of the book called the Legacy; Drew explores the affect in a detailed and scholarly way how this scandal was hidden and yet was there on the screen all the time. Frankly I think from this point forward no real academic study of D. W. Griffith should be done without citing this material as it is an IMPORTANT Griffith book.
I am happy that the price is very reasonable for an over 500 page book; Drew should be thanked for deliberately pricing it so that it can be read by anyone interested in who, Griffith was at the beginning of his career and perhaps why he selected to make the movies he did. I think you should read it; there are 50 picture pages, look at the pictures but read the story and you will be as impressed with what Drew has done as I am.
And yes, it is a good read; don't just take my word for it "A great discovery about a remarkable, unknown chapter in D. W. Griffith's early life. It is a genuine surprise as I never supposed there was anything more to find out about Griffith. Yet William M. Drew has uncovered high drama. I was riveted throughout by this amazing story, full of revelations."--Kevin Brownlow, Film Historian and Documentarian