Production info

Intolerance, Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages
USA, 1916

Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron
Directed by D.W. Griffith

  

This three-and-a-half hour innovative piece of the Silent Era addresses mankind's persistent intolerance through the ages in four parallel storylines situated in ancient Babylon, Judea, the French Renaissance and modern America. Contemporary reviewers praised the film for its historical accuracy, but looking back the historical details are quite poor. The storyline has nothing to do with ancient Egypt, but the film does feature a number of Egyptian elements as integral part of Mesopotamian culture: the Babylonian king Belshazzar walks about with a large Ankh, the statue of the goddess Ishtar has Isis-like features, the 'Princess Beloved' in some scenes wears an Egyptian headdress and eye makeup, and in a court girls can be observed performing a typical 'walk like an Egyptian' dance'. The film did not do well at the box-office and Griffith ordered parts to be reused for later movies. As a result, in 1919 the Babylonian section of the film was released separately under the title "The Fall of Babylon".


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