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Rescued from a Perilous Nest: D. W. Griffith's Escape from Theatre into Film

Russell Merritt
Cinema Journal
Vol. 21, No. 1, Psychological Aspects (Autumn, 1981), pp. 2-30
DOI: 10.2307/1225002
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1225002
Page Count: 29
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Rescued from a Perilous Nest: D. W. Griffith's Escape from Theatre into Film
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Abstract

In the twelve years between 1895 and 1907 that he spent on the stage, Griffith wrote his most nakedly autobiographical work. The plays, letters, and poems that survive come from a deeply troubled would-be artist ashamed of his rural poverty, haunted by his father, and afraid of women. His early experience in the theatre generally aggravated those troubles. His films enabled him to control, redirect, and sublimate his obsessions.

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