English intertitles Release dateJune 6, 1916 (1916-06-06) WriterThomas Dixon Jr. (novel), Thomas Dixon Jr. (screenplay) CastLorraine Huling (Virginia Holland), Percy Standing (Charles Waldron), Arthur Shirley (John Vassar), Flora MacDonald (Angela Benda), Paul Willis (Billy), Phil Gastrock (Thomas) Similar moviesSleigh Bells, Harem Scarem, Sagebrush Sadie, The Banker's Daughter, Poor Papa, Neck 'n' Neck
The Fall of a Nation is a 1916 American silent drama film directed by Thomas Dixon, Jr., and is a sequel to the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith. Dixon, Jr. attempted to cash in on the success of the controversial first film. The Fall of a Nation is considered to be the first ever film sequel. Based upon The Fall of a Nation, written by the director, the film is now considered lost.
A sequel to DW Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, by the same author, and now lost. It is considered the first film sequel ever made and recounts a fictional invasion of America by a united army from Europe.
The Fall of a Nation is an attack on the pacifism of William Jennings Bryan and Henry Ford and a plea for American preparedness for war.
America is unprepared for an attack by the "European Confederated Army", a European army headed by Germany. The army invades America and executes children and war veterans. However, America is saved by a pro-war Congressman who raises an army to defeat the invaders with the support of a suffragette. According to the Internet Movie Database, the film is split into three sections: "A nation falls", "The heel of the conqueror" and "The uprising two years later".
Lorraine Huling - Virginia Holland
Percy Standing - Charles Waldron
Arthur Shirley - John Vassar
Flora Macdonald - Angela Benda
Paul Willis - Billy
Phil Gastrock - Thomas (as Philip Gastrock)
Clarence Geldart - General Arnold (as C.H. Geld)
Some battle scenes were filmed in the same location as Birth of a Nation, at a cost of $31,000.
The film had a musical score produced by Victor Herbert. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that "this is probably the first original symphonic score composed for a feature film". An earlier music score was composed by Camille Saint-Saens for the short (15-minute) film The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (1908).
The Fall of a Nation and The Birth of a Nation are part of the same movie series. The Little Minister (1934). Thomas Dixon - Jr directed The Fall of a Nation and wrote the story for Bolshevism on Trial. Victor Herbert composed the music for The Fall of a Nation and wrote the screenplay for Babes in Toyland. Victor Herbert composed the music for The Fall of a Nation and wrote the screenplay for Kiss Me Again.
Reception and aftermath
Anthony Slide argues that the film was largely a commercial failure. The production company, Dixon Studios, went bust in 1921, having produced only this film.