UC Berkeley Library

1910-1919

A Child of the Ghetto. (1910)

Directed by D.W. Griffith. Cast: Kate Bruce, George Nichols, Henry B. Walthall, Dorothy West. After her mother's death, Ruth struggles to support herself as a seamstress. While Ruth delivers shirts to the factory owner, the owner's son steals some money and Ruth is accused of the crime. She flees the ghetto of New York's Lower East Side and hides in the country where a young farmer takes her in and they fall in love. Silent with English intertitles. 16 min. ; ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie DatabaseSee also:

A Natural Born Gambler (1916)

Director: Bert Williams. "Our story centers upon the activities of a Negro fraternal organization, the Independent Order of Calcimine Artists of America. [Inside joke: "calcimine" is whitewash, and yet most of these black actors appear to have darkened their complexions with blackface makeup.] The group meet sin the back of a saloon. Their leader, Brother Scott, is a lawyer who disapproves of gambling-- although, after breaking up a pokergame, he doesn't object to appropriating others' winnings.

Bert Williams Films

Contents: Introduction (2 min.) -- A Natural born gambler (1916, si. with English intertitles, 18 min.) -- Fish (si.,1916, 9min.) -- Nobody (audio recording, 1906, 3 min.) Egbert Austin "Bert" Williams was one of the preeminent entertainers of theVaudeville era and one of the most popular comedians for all audiences of his time. A key figure in the development of African-American entertainment, he was by far the best-selling black recording artist before 1920.

Birth of a Nation (1915)

Directed by D.W. Griffith. Cast: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry Walthall, Miriam Cooper, Mary Alden, Ralph Lewis, George Seigmann, Walter Long. Adapted from Thomas Dixon's novel, The Clansman. A Civil War spectacular, Portraying "life in the South" during and after the Civil War as revealed in a story depicting the war itself, the conflict between the defeated Southerners and emancipated renegade Negroes, the despoiling of the South during the carpetbagger period, and the revival of the Southern white man's honor through the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan.124 min.

Cohen Saves the Flag (Mabel Saves Her Darlings) (1913)

Directed by Mack Sennett. Cast: Ford Sterling, Mabel Normand, Henry Lehrman. "'Cohen Saves the Flag' is a very early Keystone comedy, one of several starring Ford Sterling as a scruffy coward named Izzy Cohen. All of the instalments in the 'Cohen' series feature some humour based on Jewish stereotypes, which has dated badly; fortunately, these films also have clever storylines and non-ethnic slapstick gags, so (with the possible exception of 'Cohen Collects a Debt') these films are still funny in spite of some (arguably) anti-Semitic content.

Eyes of the Mummy (Die Augen der Mumie Ma: Drama in 4 Akten) (Germany, 1918)

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Cast: Max Laurence (Furst Hohenfels), Harry Liedtke (Albert Wendland, ein Maler), Emil Jannings (Radu, ein Araber), Pola Negri (Ma). Albert Wendland, a young painter studying in Egypt, vists the forbidden tomb of Queen Ma, where it is said that anyone who enters meets with disaster at the hands of the evil mummy. Instead, Wendland finds a beautiful woman, Mara, who is held prisoner by the evil Radu. He rescues her and takes her to his European home, where they are soon married, but the tragic curse of the mummy still hangs over her head. 88 min.

Judith of Bethulia (1913)

Directed by D.W. Griffith. Cast: Blanche Sweet, Henry Walthall, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Kate Bruce Based on the narrative poem by Thomas Bailey Aldrich in which a wealthy and pious Jewish widow disguises herself as a courtesan, goes to the camp of the Assyrian general who is besieging her city, and cuts off his head. A film adaptation of the Old Testament story of Judith and "Captain Holofernes." 60 min.; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Egyptian Mummy (1914)

Directed by Lee Beggs. Cast: Constance Talmadge, Lee Beggs, Joel Day. In order to make money, a man hires a bum to pretend to be a mummy, so he can sell the "body" for scientific experiments.

The Sultan's Wife (1917)

Directed by Clarence G. Badger. Cast: Gloria Swanson, Bobby Vernon. On a sailing trip, sweethearts Bobby and Gloria arrive in a very sinister-looking India, where an evil rajah attempts to force Gloria into his harem. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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