Griffith is often seen as the inventor of cinema mythographic narrative with his epic The Birth of a Nation (1915). Prior to 1915, however, Griffith made numerous one- and two-reel Westerns: “The scores of one- and two-reel films Griffith produced between 1908 and 1914 (including several Westerns) were technically inventive and increasingly sophisticated in form, but as narratives they were little more than kinetic dime novels” (Slotkin 1992, 238). The Birth of a Nation, while not a Western, was the first great cinema epic and as such showed how cinema could be used for portraying the grand myths of the nation. Unfortunately, Griffith’s film is nearly unwatchable today due to its extreme racist content. Equally unfortunate is the fact that the film was instrumental in establishing a theme that would be foundational to the developing myth of the West—the idea that in one sense the struggle between whites and African Americans is a struggle to save the body of a white woman from the inevitable sexual depredations of black men, a struggle against “a fate worse than death.” In The Birthof a Nation, when a white woman is raped by a black man, her only recourse is to commit suicide. Westerns after the silent era often substitute the black-white struggle with the Indian–white man struggle.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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  • GRIFFITH (A.) — GRIFFITH ARTHUR (1872 1922) Fils d’une longue lignée d’imprimeurs, Arthur Griffith fut un redoutable journaliste de combat. Sa plume fit plus pour mettre fin à la présence britannique dans le sud de l’Irlande que toutes les révoltes nationalistes …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Griffith — may refer to:In people: * Griffith (surname)In places: * Griffith, Indiana, United States, town in northwest Indiana, and suburb of Chicago * Griffith, New South Wales, city in Australia * Griffith, Australian Capital Territory, suburb of… …   Wikipedia

  • Griffith — Griffith, Arthur Griffith, David Wark * * * (as used in expressions) Griffith Joyner, (Delorez) Florence Delorez Florence Griffith Griffith, Andy Andrew Samuel Griffith Griffith, Arthur Griffith, D(avid) W(ark) Griffith, Emile (Alphonse) John… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Griffith —   [ grɪfɪθ],    1) Arthur, irischer Politiker, * Dublin 31. 3. 1872, ✝ ebenda 12. 8. 1922; Drucker, später Journalist, 1905 als Vorkämpfer der irischen Unabhängigkeit maßgeblich an der Gründung der Sinn Féin beteiligt; stand 1919/20 an der Spitze …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Griffith — Griffith, IN U.S. town in Indiana Population (2000): 17334 Housing Units (2000): 6990 Land area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Griffith, IN — U.S. town in Indiana Population (2000): 17334 Housing Units (2000): 6990 Land area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 7.169677 sq. miles (18.569377 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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  • Griffith — Griffith, Sir Samuel Walker, australischer Staatsmann, geb. 1845, studierte in Sydney die Rechte, wurde 1863 Bakkalaureus und 1870 Magister artium, nachdem er schon 1867 als Rechtsanwalt für Queensland (dann auch für Neusüdwales und Victoria)… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Griffith — m Welsh: Anglicized form of Gruffudd or Griffudd, Old Welsh Grip (p)iud. The second element of this means ‘lord, prince’, but the first is extremely uncertain. Gruffydd ap Llewellyn (d. 1063) was one of the most able rulers of Wales in the Middle …   First names dictionary

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