Re: D.W. Griffith films (fwd)

Oksana Dykyj (
Wed, 09 Jul 1997 09:46:14 +0000 (HELP)

>I am ending my studies in cinema at Bologna University, Italy.
>My Thesis is about the image of Italian American Mafia in American Cinema.
>I am looking for the following films of D.W. Griffith: "The cord of life",
>"In little Italy", "At the altar" and also films such as, "The Black Hand",
>"Little Italy", made between 1905 and 1930, which are concerned with italian
>and italian american criminality.
>I am unable to find these films in Italy and was hoping that you might be
>able to help me.
>I would also be very interested in any biographical information that you can
>supply on books relevant to this argument.
>I thank you in anticipation.
> Domenico Ciolfi


I would recommend that you take a look at:
Brownlow, Kevin. _Behind the Mask of Innocence - Sex, Violence, Prejudice,
Crime: Films of Social Conscience in the Silent Era_. New York: Alfred
A. Knopf, 1990.
There is a section entitled "The Italians" which discusses such films as
_The Black Hand_(1906), _The Organ Grinder_(1909),_The Detectives of the
Italian Bureau_(1909), _The Criminals_(1913), _Poor Little Peppina_(1916),
_The Padrone's Ward_(1914), _The Alien_(1915), _One More American_ (1918),
_The Italian_ (1915). The book contains an excellent bibliography with links
to primary sources.

A slightly more general book, but valuable nonetheless:
Rosow, Eugene. _Born to Lose: The Gangster Film in America_. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1978.

If you can manage to get to Pordenone in October for Le Giornate del Cinema
Muto (16th Pordenone Film Festival at the Cinema Verdi 11-18 October), one
of the features this year is THE GRIFFITH PROJECT. It "marks...Pordenone's
commitment to showing all the extant films which D.W. Griffith wrote, acted
in, and directed...It is not merely a retrospective, but one of the largest
archival restoration projects in the history of film preservation.
Institutions wordwide are collaborating in creating new copies of films that
have hitherto existed in nearly unviewable prints, and have remained unseen
except by a handful of scholars." This year will be the first installment
and you would have the opportunity to speak with numerous Griffith experts.
You can get more information from their website:

One last bit of information of a general nature: Take a look at the Silent
Film Sources site on the web. It lists silent films commercially available
in the United States for purchase on video and laserdisc as well as rental
on 16mm and 35mm.

Hope this helps,
Oksana Dykyj Tel: 514-848-3443
Head, Visual Media Resources Fax: 514-848-3441
Audio-Visual Department H-342 Email:
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve West
Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8