Friday, January 14, 2011

Judith Of Bethulia (1914)

Yes, yes, I've been busy lately—Auburn football, Spring cleaning, walking the dog, a never-ending construction project. And I've fobbed off a lot of old movies on you and called it blogging. Fortunately, I know you've been eating these movies up with a spoon—you have been eating them with a spoon, haven't you?—here's another one to tide you over: D.W. Griffith's first feature film, 1914's Judith of Bethulia. It doesn't have the epic scope of The Birth of a Nation, but then neither does it feature the Ku Klux Klan as the hero of the story.

More to the point, Judith, along with The Musketeers of Pig Alley, The Lonely Villa, The Lonedale Operator, The Battle at Elderbush Gulch, and many others, undercuts the notion that Griffith invented movies with The Birth of a Nation. The invention of a film language was a steady evolution, not a one-picture revolution; indeed, I would say The Birth of a Nation didn't invent anything except a long-overdue recognition on the part of audiences and critics that movies were an art form unto themselves.

But more about that later.

In the meantime, Judith of Bethulia.


For a longer discussion of Judith of Bethulia, click here.


mister muleboy said...

Chatter didn't start with one game. . . .

word verification? pingl

La Petite Gallery said...

I don't know those movies. I do remember a movie I saw once that blew me away it was about Russia and Catherine the great, I think either Garbo or Dietrich was
entering the Palace and going up the stairs on horseback. I know you know old movies, this was old with subtitles maybe russian??The movie sets were black and white and awesome.

Mythical Monkey said...

I'll bet you're talking about The Scarlet Empress with Marlene Dietrich as Catherine the Great. It was one of the great pictures of 1934 and assuming I get back on track, blogging-wise, I should be writing about it this Spring.

Or in 2014, whichever comes first.

100 Years of Movies said...

So right about Griffith. Birth may be where he pulled it all together, but he was creating a glossary for cinema years before. Love Musketeers of Pig alley!