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English 4 Lesson 125: Why ‘Birth of a Nation’ became the First Blockbuster Movie

Hello and welcome back to my school essays, let’s begin!


‘Birth of a Nation’ is a movie that came out in 1915. It was directed by D.W. Griffith and is known as the first blockbuster movie ever made. Even though the movie has some really bad and racist stuff in it, it still made a lot of money and was really popular. This essay will look at why the movie was so successful. We will talk about the new things the movie did with filmmaking, how it was advertised, and the time it came out.

Innovative Filmmaking Techniques

One big reason why ‘Birth of a Nation’ was so popular is because it used some new and cool ways of making movies. At that time, most movies were short and not very exciting. But ‘Birth of a Nation’ was different. It was much longer than other movies and had a big story to tell. This made it feel like a real event when people went to see it. The movie also used some new camera tricks that made it look more real and exciting. These things made the movie stand out and helped it become a hit.

Creative Marketing Strategies

Another reason why ‘Birth of a Nation’ became the first blockbuster is because of the way it was advertised. The people who made the movie were really smart about how they got people to want to see it. They built up a lot of excitement and curiosity around the movie. They did this by showing it in only a few cities at first and making a big deal about how special it was. They also charged more money for tickets than usual, which made people think the movie must be really important. All of this helped create a lot of buzz around the movie, and it ended up being a big success.

Timing and Historical Context

The time when ‘Birth of a Nation’ came out also played a big part in its success. The movie was released in 1915, which was a time when the United States was going through a lot of changes. There was a lot of fighting going on between different groups of people, and the movie played on those feelings. It told a story that some people really connected with, even though it was a very bad and harmful story. This helped the movie become really popular, even though it caused a lot of problems and anger too.

Controversy and Publicity

Finally, the controversy around ‘Birth of a Nation’ also helped make it a blockbuster. The movie has a lot of racist ideas in it, and it made some people very angry. But this anger also got people talking about the movie. The more people talked about it, the more people wanted to see it. This helped the movie become even more popular and successful, even if it was for the wrong reasons.


In the end, ‘Birth of a Nation’ became the first blockbuster movie because of a mix of things. It used new ways of making movies that made it stand out, and it was advertised in a smart and creative way. The time it came out also played a big part in its success, as it connected with some of the feelings and fights that were happening at the time. And finally, the controversy around the movie helped make it even more popular. Even though ‘Birth of a Nation’ is a bad movie with harmful ideas, it’s important to understand why it was so successful so we can learn from it and make better movies in the future.

Thank you for reading this essay! I hope you enjoyed reading it or learned something new! I’ll be posting more soon so stay tuned! If you haven’t done so yet, feel free to check out:

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