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Rotten Tomatoes Logo Do you want to see ‘The Birth of a Nation’?

The Birth of a Nation (1915)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0

audience

58

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,097

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Movie Info

The most successful and artistically advanced film of its time, The Birth of a Nation has also sparked protests, riots, and divisiveness since its first release. The film tells the story of the Civil War and its aftermath, as seen through the eyes of two families. The Stonemans hail from the North, the Camerons from the South. When war breaks out, the Stonemans cast their lot with the Union, while the Camerons are loyal to Dixie. After the war, Ben Cameron (Henry B. Walthall), distressed that

G, 2 hr. 55 min.

Drama, Classics

D.W. Griffith

Frank Woods, D.W. Griffith

Mar 3, 1915 Wide

Jun 29, 2004

Gravitas

Cast

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (0) | DVD (6)

Birth of a Nation is a great epoch in picture making; it's great for pictures and it's great for the name and fame of David Wark Griffith. When a man like Griffith in a new field can do what he has done, he may as well be hailed while he is living.

February 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Griffith's later films are unquestionably superior. But here, in a very real sense, is where the movies began, both as an art and as a business.

February 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The civil war battle pictures, taken in panorama, represent enormous effort and achieve a striking degree of success.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is an unavoidable fact of American movie history, and must be dealt with.

April 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Links the divide between American past and American present.

July 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comment
Projection Booth

a masterpiece that still packs a punch and whose standard-bearing genius remains untarnished.

August 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer | Comment
Cinema Writer

What does it say about a country that one of its greatest films is also one of the most bigoted movies ever made? ... If you can ignore the actors in blackface and the vicious stereotypes, Griffith's folly is also a triumph of silent film technique.

July 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly | Comments (3)

Like it or not, its tremendous influence can't be denied.

May 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The biggest challenge the film provided for its audiences is perhaps to decide when 'ground-breaking, dedicated, serious cinematic art' must be reviled as politically reprehensible.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment

Racist yet an incredibly important landmark film.

October 21, 2005 Comment

shocks audiences with its blatant racism yet remains one of the defining films of the silent era.

September 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinematic Reflections | Comment

Groundbreaking, but too racist to enjoy.

November 6, 2004 Comment
Juicy Cerebellum

Artistically, technically, and culturally, the importance of Griffith's celebrated, villified, deeply troubling Civil War masterpiece cannot be overstated.

August 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Comment
Decent Films Guide

This notoriously problematic melodrama is the first true screen epic and arguably the most important motion picture ever made.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comment
TV Guide's Movie Guide
More Critic Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Birth of a Nation

Divided into two parts, the first part of the film concerns the path of the Civil War and then into the second part, which follows Reconstruction when the blacks are freed and gain their rights. Controversy begins when the blacks are portrayed by whites in minstrel-style blackface and shown as all being angry, drunk,

February 26, 2011
middleeasternfilms
middleeasternfilms

It almost seems fitting that America's first full length feature film was so controversial that people are still taking about it today. Talking about it and getting it all wrong that is. The group that will tell you it's racist are generally the group who haven't seen it. Face it America, you have a racist history,

February 14, 2011

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Latest News for The Birth of a Nation

February 1, 2006:
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Foreign Titles

  • Birth of a Nation (1915) (DE)
  • Birth of a Nation (1915) (UK)
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