D.W. Griffith films

In Spotlight on January 19, 2017 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,

D.W. Griffith

Kentuckian D.W. Griffith (1875-1948)

The Oldham County History Center is celebrating is D.W. Griffith’s birthday today.  Here’s from Helen McKinney’s press release:

Celebrate D.W. Griffith’s Birthday!

D.W. Griffith movies at the Oldham County History Center
Feature Film Sundays

Sunday, January 22, 2017 from Noon – 4 p.m.
Peyton Samuel Head Family Museum
108 N. Second Ave., La Grange, Ky  40031

In honor of one of Oldham County’s most famous residents, the Peyton Samuel Head Family Museum (located on the Oldham County History Center campus) will be showing a selection of D.W. Griffith’s most famous silent movies. Visitors to the museum, now open on Sundays from Noon – 4 p.m., will also be invited to enjoy a slice of cake to celebrate what would have been Griffith’s 142nd birthday.

David Wark Griffith (January 22, 1875-July 23, 1948) was born on a farm in Oldham County to Mary Perkins and Jacob “Roaring Jake” Griffith. Roaring Jake was a Confederate army colonel during the Civil War, and died when his son was ten years old. Four years later, the family moved to Louisville where Griffith’s mother opened a boarding house that soon failed. Griffith left high school to help support the family. It wasn’t long before he left Louisville to begin what would become a very lucrative film career.

Griffith got his start as an actor in touring companies. By 1908 he had begun making short films and accepted a job at Biograph . He released his first feature, Judith of Bethulia, in 1914; it was one of the earliest to be produced in the United States. Griffith’s film career was defined at Biograph, but he eventually left the company. He became one of the most famous American film directors, writers and producers in the business, and will be forever remembered as the filmmaker who pioneered modern filmmaking techniques.  One of his most popular movies was the 1915 silent classic, The Birth of a Nation. Controversial for its time, it made Griffith a house-hold name.

Sally of the Sawdust will be one of the D.W. Griffith films shown on Sunday, January 22 at the Peyton Samuel Head Family Museum. Released on August 2, 1925, this silent comedy was based on the 1923 stage musical, Poppy. The film version starred W.C. Fields, Carol Dempster and Alfred Lunt. When her circus mother dies after being disowned, young Sally (Dempster) is raised by Professor Eustace McGargle (W.C. Fields), a juggler and small-time con man. McGargle trains Sally to dance for his opening act, and the pair joins a carnival based in Green Meadow, Conn. Visit the museum to learn how young Sally’s life turns out.

The showing of these D.W. Griffith movies is part of a new program, “Feature Film Sundays” at the museum. Every second and fourth Sunday of the month, movies with relevance to Oldham County will be shown. Museum hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays, Noon – 4 p.m.  Cost is $8 (adults), $6 (students, seniors and military with ID) and free for children 4 and under.

Oldham County Historical Society
106 N. Second Ave.
La Grange, KY  40031


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