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LGM Film Club, Part 258: A Corner in Wheat

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It’s not that I want to rehabilitate D.W. Griffith in the eyes of LGM readers exactly. I mean, what he did in The Birth of a Nation damns him to eternal hell as far as I’m concerned. But it is worth noting that his politics, like so many people including FDR (who loved him the Dunning School histories), were basically a white populism and within that there was room for interesting politics. And thus I give you his 1909 film A Corner in Wheat, which is about as pure a vision of early twentieth century white Populism as you can get, with the evil capitalist who screws over the farmer getting his comeuppance at the end in the worst way possible. It’s also an adaptation of sorts of a couple of Frank Norris works, not that one could really fully adapt such things in just the few minutes that pre-1910 film allowed.

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