Between the summers of 1908 and 1913, mediocre actor and failed writer David Wark Griffith (1874–1948) transformed the medium of film more drastically than any other filmmaker in the history of cinema. During his time at Biograph, Griffith transcended the primitive visual grammar of his predecessors, distilling a mature expressiveness capable of wielding great emotional power over his audiences. Aided by the cinematographic wizardry of G. W. “Billy” Bitzer, Griffith developed the technical facility to translate the vivid workings of his imagination into motion pictures. This small selection of shorts (mostly in newly restored prints preserved by the Museum), drawn from the approximately four hundred that he made at Biograph, offers a mere glimpse of his prodigious accomplishments during this period. All films silent. (source)
The Country Doctor
1909. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Frank Powell, Florence Lawrence, Kate Bruce, Mary Pickford. 15 min.
A Corner in Wheat
1909. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Frank Powell, Linda Arvidson, Henry B. Walthall, Mack Sennett. 15 min.
The Honor of His Family
1910. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Henry B. Walthall, Verner Charges, Kate Bruce, Linda Arvidson. 16 min.
The Lonedale Operator
1911. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Blanche Sweet, George O. Nicholls, Francis J. Grandon, Wilfred Lucas. 16 min.
The Painted Lady
1912. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Blanche Sweet, Madge Kirby, Charles Hill Mailes, Harry Carey, Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish. 15 min.
The Battle at Elderbush Gulch
1913. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. With Mae Marsh, Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Henry B. Walthall. 32 min.