Cinema: Last Dissolve

Hollywood Was his invention. Charlie Chaplin said, "The whole industry owes its existence to him." Yet of late years he could not find a job in the town he had invented. He clung to the shadows, a bald, eagle-beaked man, sardonic and alone. At parties, he sat drinking quietly, his sharp eyes panning the room for a glimpse of familiar faces, most of them long gone. David Wark Griffith had been The Master, and there was nobody quite like him afterwards.

The Shameful Profession. It was a long stretch from the genteel poverty of the Kentucky farm where D. W. Griffith was...

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