April 30, 2010

After making his fortune directing Hollywood’s first “racist blockbusters”, D.W. Griffith squandered much of his money attempting to cash in on the Jazz Age craze for boardgames.

The majority of Griffith’s designs were failures, most notably his “Knuckleduster Calamity”, which led to a succession of highly damaging lawsuits.

The closest that Griffith came to success was with an early form of what would later become known as “Twister”. Griffith’s version was called “Contortion!”, and was based on a complicated set of rules involving a 12 sided die and various invocations to zodiac deities.

Although too arcane to attract a wide audience, “Contortion!” did gain something of a cult following in Hollywood.  Many of Griffith’s stars held exclusive “Contortion!” parties, open only to the most fashionable and limber of the A-list.  According to Hollywood lore, it was during one such soirée that Douglas Fairbanks and Anna Beth Sully inadvertently conceived their first child, Douglas Jnr.

Who includes knuckledusters as part of a boardgame?  What a woeful lunatic.

Griffith peruses the list of plaintiffs in the "Knuckleduster Calamity" lawsuit



  1. Andrew L Says:

    Christopher! Mr Walker led me to your blog. I hope all is well in your square metre of personal space. Your musings are very profound, possibly made up, but nonetheless make me feel inferior to your intellectual mind. I’m am however amused that you read ‘Hark A Vagrant’ being an aspiring comic creator, which is of noteworthy mention in this blog response. Hopefully we can communicate again soon in the non cyber-realm of virtual space.

    • Andy, old chum, glad to hear that you are still alive and don’t mind a bit of the old blog now and then. Good.

      Hark is outstandingly good, and yet I am always surprised to find how many other people are as avid fans of it as I am. It seems so strange to think that someone you know has stumbled across the same website as you, don’t you think? I mean, there are so many websites. There’s bloody heaps of them. Think of all the websites there are.

      Speaking of, I had a determined squiz at your site you’ve got going, and I must say, it’s good stuff. I especially like your Niddrie thing. Niddrie needs more things like that. It cries out for them.

  2. Andrew L Says:

    I*, not I’m.

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