The Avenging Conscience 1914
In the time between leaving Biograph Studios in 1913 and the release of The Birth of a Nation in 1915, D.W. Griffith continued to expand his films, making them longer and longer (indeed it was why he left Biograph – because they wanted to stay with shorts). For this film, an adaptation of various works of Edgar Allan Poe, Griffith expanded to 84 minutes, the longest film he had yet made. It is the story of a young man, raised by his uncle, who wants to marry, but his uncle won’t allow it. Feeling closed in, with his options disappearing, he is inspired, watching a spider tackle its prey and a group of ants taking down a much larger bug to kill his uncle and free himself from his dilemma. He kills his uncle, strangling him, then hiding the body away behind a bricked in wall of the fireplace. But the guilt begins to overwhelm him – he begins to see his uncle’s ghost walking around, torturing him, accusing him...

DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 01:24:33 | 4.11 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English intertitles
Subtitles: none
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror, Silent

Director: D.W. Griffith
Cast: Henry B. Walthall, Spottiswoode Aitken, Blanche Sweet
Country: USA

-- Piano score compiled and performed by music historian Martin Marks
-- Griffith's 1909 short Edgar Allan Poe
-- Notes on the preparation of the music score

Download The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (1914) DVD5:


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