The Battle

The Civil War

Part of Making Movies in New York: 1911
Sunday, June 5, 2011, 3:00 p.m.

Live music by Donald Sosin

With aged veterans of both sides still part of the audience, dozens of films were produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil War. (Program approximately 80 mins.)

Swords and Hearts
Dir. D. W. Griffith. With Wilfred Lucas and Claire McDowell.35mm print courtesy of Russell Merritt. Strains of feminism and social criticism underscore this tale of war’s effect on one Southern family.

A Daughter of Dixie
35mm print courtesy of Library of Congress. Champion Studio. What’s a girl to do when her lover is a Union officer while her brother is a Confederate?

Uncle Pete’s Ruse
35mm print courtesy of Library of Congress. IMP Studio. One way to avoid capture in the Civil War: get yourself buried as a smallpox victim.

The Old Man and Jim
Dir. Ulysses Davis. 16mm. George Eastman House. Champion Studio. Based on a poem by James Whitcomb Riley. This adaptation of James Whitcomb Riley’s poem climaxes in a remarkable apotheosis of death and destruction.

The Battle
Dir. D. W. Griffith. 35mm print courtesy of Museum of Modern Art. With Blanche Sweet and Charles H. West. In what looks like a dry run for The Birth of a Nation, Griffith uses the war as an excuse to tell an intimate story against a background of epic violence.

Free with Museum admission

Download the program notes