The Birth of a Nation, Promotional Lincoln Plaque 1915

original production material

A chalk plaque, featuring a bas relief cameo of Abraham Lincoln, dubbed 'The Gentle Heart' portrayed by Joseph Henabery in D.W. Griffith's controversial film THE BIRTH OF A NATION (Epoch 1915). This piece was presetned to lucky patrons who were present for the 400th showing of the film, in Chicago, at the Illinois Theater on December 20, 1915 while the film enjoyed it's limited run there due to objections and legals. As the article above explains, the film closed the following month while ongoing legal wrangling failed to bring it back.

Henabery would act in Griffith's next picture INTOLERANCE and then become a director. The scenes of Lincoln and the Civil War are so well enacted in THE BIRTH, that they appear as newsreels of the actual events. It is possible that the use of Lincoln's image was to placate Northern audiences to the racial distortions of the film and highlight the historic aspects of the first half.

Also showing, a near mint libretto from the film''s LA premiere at the Clunes Auditorium, Feb. 15, 1915, when it was still called THE CLANSMAN.

item: collector:
category: original / screen-used
type: production material
celebrity: Joseph Henabery (1)
movie: The Birth of a Nation (1915)
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