Griffith-05: Locked In

The Sealed Room
R: David W. Griffith. K: G.W. Billy Bitzer. D: Arthur Johnson, Marion Leonard, Mary Pickford, Mack Sennett. P: Biograph. USA 1909

The Usurer
R: David W. Griffith. K: G.W. Billy Bitzer. D: George Nichols, Grace Henderson, Mack Sennett, Mary Pickford. P: Biograph. USA 1910

“On the one hand we have the structure, already established in the film, of contrasting the evil joys of the rich with the miseries of the poor. In addition, we have the intensification given by interrupting actions (both the pistol shot and the Usurer’s raised glass; in the shot following Walthall’s death we return to the Usurer as he drinks). The editing pattern (…) certainly seems to indicate simultaneity. The edit involves a degree of suspense, but since no rescue is attempted this is not the main effect of the edit. The ironic juxtaposition with its indication of cause and effect becomes the principle meaning.”
Tom Gunning: Weaving a Narrative. Style and Economic Background in Griffith’s Biograph Films. In: Thomas Elsaesser with Adam Barker (ed.): Early Cinema. Space Frame Narrative. London 1990; p. 342

Her Terrible Ordeal
R: David W. Griffith. K: G.W. Bitzer. D: George Nichols, Owen Moore, Florence Barker, Anthony O’Sullivan, Robert Harron. P: Biograph Company. USA 1910