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  • Birth of a Nation [Blu-ray] [1915] [US Import]
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Birth of a Nation [Blu-ray] [1915] [US Import]

29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005J7K9CI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,928 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By lhl12 on 25 July 2014
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I've seen several video editions of this movie, but for my money this Connoisseur VHS, produced by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, is the best of them all. It was taken from a slightly damaged original nitrate print from 1921, and so the imperfections were maintained. There are several shots that had been shattered and survived as only maybe three frames each, which were stretched out. This is not a problem in the other video editions, certainly not in the current blu-ray. But on this positive side, despite the occasional damage, the tinted/toned 1921 reissue print was transferred at the proper speeds (unfortunately through a prism, the only option available in the 1990s), and the visual quality is staggering. Furthermore, this has the original Joseph Carl Breil 40-piece orchestral score, though it is 'adapted' by John Lanchbery. I'm not sure what the word 'adapted' means in this context, but as far as I am aware, this rendition does not violate the integrity of the original, and after hearing this score, I would never want to hear a different accompaniment. Previous video releases from Lumivision and Triton attempted to re-create this score on synthesizer. The Kino had a small ensemble perform several rearranged excerpts from the Breil score, which excerpts were re-edited and repeated to fill out the full running time. But here, on this VHS, we get a full orchestra playing the entire score. Hooray!

As for the movie itself, yes, it is every bit as magnificent as you've heard. The film's magnificence is diminished to the point of imperceptibility in many other video releases.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By R. M. M. on 2 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD
It's a great nuisance the Connoisseur Video version is only on video, because to my mind it's considerably superior. This one lacks the tinted sequences (sepia in parts, red for the burning of Atlanta) and, much worse, the music sounds like the third form doing its best. That may, for all I know, be more authentic, but music is so important in a silent that this is authenticity I could do without. On the other hand, the sharpness and overall quality of the print is really quite amazing - especially compared to much more recent films such as Lost Horizon.
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51 of 60 people found the following review helpful By roderick.hall@telia.com on 17 Feb. 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The first, and perhaps the greatest of the feature films, D.W. Griffith's wonderful and controversial film is a must have for anyone with any serious interest in cinema.
The beginning of the film deals with life in the old South, and much like Gone With The Wind, showed nothing of the harsh cruelty of slavery. However, this film does not bare the title 'Based on a true story' and so, as with the racist struggle at the end, with a little education, this may be judged purely in terms of cinematography. .. I simply saw it through Griffith's eyes, and could not help but give a broad smile many times at the wonderful atmosphere that the film created.
The film centres mainly around the Northern Stonemans and the Southern Camerons, and the relationship between them. The civil war presents some spectacular scenes, including the superb sequence where the eldest Cameron boy rushes forward to the front line towards the guns and rescues the Confederate flag. The horrors and tragedies of war are shocking, but spectacular. What follows is the heartbreak of loss, the surrender of General Lee, the beginning of the revenge that plagues the characters throughout the rest of the film and finally, April 14th 1865. Ford's Theatre is recreated, and one of history's greatest men is gunned down in a tragic scene.
The heroin of the film is a Northerner, played by the ravishingly beautiful Lillian Gish. Her love for the founder of the Ku Klux Klan creates an interesting situation. She condemns her lover but forgives him when the villain of the film, a mulatto named Syrus Lynch tries to force her into marriage and is rescued by our 'heroes' in white hoods.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 May 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
As good a transfer as you can expect for a film over 100 years old. It is fascinating even if it leaves a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth. I suspect this is only really to be enjoyed by those fascinated by early cinema. The extras are very relevant and the notes interesting. The blu ray delivers as well as one could expect in the circumstances.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clifford R Stringer on 18 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Always wanted to see this again, last time some 50yrs ago at the NFT. Well worth the wait.
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By john burns on 1 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
aye see why this one caused concern when it was released and people were offended by it,s subject matter and it probably still does to this day but saying that it,s still a great piece of cinematic history,regardless of it,s subject which is about slavery and how they were treated before the American Civil war and after and how they tried to get their own back after the war and failed because of the clan which is what the film is all about more,s the pity highly recommended to all of those who like watching pieces of cinematic history even silent ones give it a try and add it to your collection thank you
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