American Masters (1985– )
3 user 2 critic

D.W. Griffith: Father of Film 

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »




Episode credited cast:
Roy Aitken Roy Aitken ... Himself (archive footage)
Lindsay Anderson ... Narrator (voice)
William Bakewell ... Himself
Evelyn Baldwin Evelyn Baldwin ... Herself - Griffith's Ex-Wife (as Evelyn Baldwin Kunze)
Richard Barthelmess ... Himself (archive footage)
Nellie Battipaglia Nellie Battipaglia ... Herself - Extra
Lord Beaverbrook ... Himself (archive footage)
G.W. Bitzer ... Himself (archive footage)
Eileen Bowser Eileen Bowser ... Herself - Film Curator
Karl Brown Karl Brown ... Himself (archive footage)
Frank Capra ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles Chaplin ... Himself (archive footage)
Ricardo Cortez ... (archive footage)
Stanley Cortez ... Himself
James Crane James Crane ... Himself - Extra


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Release Date:

24 March 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(3 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


For this documentary, Kevin Brownlow and David Gill reused footage from their documentary series Hollywood (1980). The visual presentation of the premiere of The Birth of a Nation (1915), bearing a different caption font from that earlier series, is an example. See more »


Lillian Gish: He gave us the grammar of film-making.
See more »

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User Reviews

THE definitive documentary D.W. Griffith
1 May 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Considering that this documentary was produced and directed by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, it's hardly surprising that this British film about film makers was perfect--or nearly so (see my final comment). That's because these two were also responsible for the very best and most expertly crafted documentaries about Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd--among others. Using interviews, vintage film and clips of his movies, the pair constructed a terrific homage to the life and career of D.W. Griffith--an absolute must-see for any fan of silent films or anyone wanting to know about this early film mogul.

By the way, there was a HUGE mistake made in the documentary. In the third episode they were talking about Griffith's film "Abraham Lincoln" and it then referred to him as "a hero of the South"! This is like saying that Kaiser Wilhelm II was a hero to the British during WWI!! Perhaps this silly mistake was made because the film was made in the UK and they didn't realize that Lincoln was the leader of the North and was throughly despised by Southerners. Duh.

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