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The Battle (1911)

Not Rated | | Short, Action, Drama | 6 November 1911 (USA)
Union soldiers march off to battle amid cheering crowds. After the battle turns against the Union Army, one soldier runs away, hiding in his girlfriend's house. Ashamed of his cowardice, he... See full summary »

Director:

D.W. Griffith
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Cast

Cast overview:
Charles West Charles West ... The Boy - the Cowardly Soldier (as Charles H. West)
Blanche Sweet ... The Boy's Sweetheart
Charles Hill Mailes ... The Union Commander
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Storyline

Union soldiers march off to battle amid cheering crowds. After the battle turns against the Union Army, one soldier runs away, hiding in his girlfriend's house. Ashamed of his cowardice, he finds his courage and crosses enemy lines to bring help to his trapped comrades. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1911 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La batalla See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Lionel Barrymore. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'The Birth of a Nation' (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Griffith Draws the Battle Lines
14 October 2007 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Sweethearts Charles West and Blanche Sweet have fun at an 1861 dance; then, he and the other men, including Robert Harron, are off to fight for the Union, in the Civil War. Women and children cheer the departing throng - but they don't get far, as the war rages just outside town. In the first conflict, Mr. West becomes panic-stricken, and goes AWOL. He runs home to Ms. Sweet, scared witless. Sweet is somewhat crazed, herself, and practically throws him out; obviously, she is ashamed of her boyfriend. Luckily, he manages to gather his wits, and return to the front before he is missed. He goes just before being discovered by wounded Union Commander Charles H. Mailes, who arrives at Sweet's home to recuperate. On the battlefield, West gets a chance to prove himself, after a tragic event…

Though less than twenty minutes long, this is an "epic" film. The cast of extras is very large; memorably, many of them march by (presumably) G.W. Bitzer's camera as they go off to war. Cheering crowds, and warring soldiers, are all over the screen. "The Battle" is one of the better early films directed by D.W. Griffith. The battle sequences are excitingly staged; and a stagecoach ride thrills. The story of cowardice during wartime is bold; Griffith had just explored the theme with "The House with Closed Shutters" (1910; but, in that instance, Walthall's "cowardly" character had been drinking heavily; West's character is truly stricken by fear. Charles Ray would play a similar coward in 1915.

West and Sweet get a chance to emote… and, over-emote. The total lack of understanding Sweet shows West is a little hard to understand; it looks like she may have been playing a little "mad" herself. Probably, Griffith was directing the two to express some extra craziness for entertainment value. Harron is at his usual best. Familiar faces include Donald Crisp as the Union soldier first in line, to the left, when West joins up; and, look for Lionel Barrymore steering the stagecoach just after Harron expires on the battlefield.

****** The Battle (11/6/11) D.W. Griffith ~ Charles West, Blanche Sweet, Robert Harron


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