25 January 2009 | Michael_Elliott
Griffith and the Civil War
In the Border States (1910)
*** (out of 4)
Civil War short has a father (Charles West) joining the Union and going off to war. The father gets sent on a secret mission but he is wounded and barely makes it back home. When his child rushes off to get help a group of Confederate solders come in and its up to one to turn the father in or not. This is a pretty interesting short from Griffith because it's rather low-key and shows the human side of war. The story itself is pretty far fetched but that doesn't really matter because the main thing is its message and the director has no trouble getting this across. The fact that two sides could be fighting for their own beliefs but this shouldn't stand in front of doing the right thing is something Griffith told in many of his movies but the war backdrop here just makes it all the more memorable. Another big plus is the cinematography by G.W. Bitzer is excellent as are the New Jersey locations, which are filling in for a Southern state. Henry B. Walthall, Dorothy West and Mack Sennett are among the cast.