Posts Tagged ‘Knuckleduster Calamity’

GRIFFITH AND TWISTER

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

Advertisements