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Civilization (1916)

 -  Drama  -  2 June 1916 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 153 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Christ takes on the form of a pacifist count to end a senseless war.

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Title: Civilization (1916)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Howard C. Hickman ...
Count Ferdinand
Enid Markey ...
Katheryn Haldemann
Lola May ...
Queen Engenie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ...
A Mother
J. Frank Burke ...
Luther Rolf, the peace advocate
Claire Du Brey
George Fisher ...
Charles K. French ...
The Prime Minister
Thomas H. Ince ...
Himself (prologue)
Herschel Mayall ...
The King of Wredpryd
Fanny Midgley
J. Barney Sherry ...
The Blacksmith
Jerome Storm ...
The Blacksmith's Son
Ethel Ullman ...
The Blacksmith's Daughter
Woodrow Wilson ...
Himself (prologue)
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Storyline

Allegorical film about peace. A king starts a war, many of the women are against it, people are pressed into service. A count has constructed a submarine and gets the order to sink an ocean liner, that is also carrying - supposedly - ammunition for the enemy. The count refuses to fire the torpedos, and sinks the submarine. He survives, but in a limbo between death and life where he meets Jesus, who takes him over to preach peace. Naturally the king arrests him and sentences him to death for treason, but then Jesus shows him the real face of war. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Dedicated to that vast army whose tears have girdled the universe - The Mothers of the Dead. See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

2 June 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Civilisation  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ince claimed Woodrow Wilson's 1916 campaign re-election slogan, "He kept us out of war" was the inspiration for the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Moving Picture Boys in the Great War (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tame, predictable and ultimately boring allegory.
11 February 2002 | by (Putney, VT) – See all my reviews

The plot of this pacifist film is laid out elsewhere in these reviews. The watching of it, despite a few striking moments, is sadly rather a bore. There is not much interest in the submarine commander/inventor and his life, so we are not really hooked on any individual story against which this panoply can play out. The heavy going allegorical elements with Christ taking the commander on a tour of Hell and taking the King on a tour of the devastation he has wrought are effective initially, but the repetition and ponderous direction eventually do it in. A number of scenes are left to go on seemingly interminably with no action - the film needed a good editor to tighten it up. Interesting historically speaking, both in context with WWI, our entrance into which it was trying to prevent, and its parallel anti-war film of the same year, INTOLERANCE, the latter initially a flop and now a classic, while the reception of CIVILIZATION and its ultimate obscurity constitute a mirror image. Worth seeing once for film historians.


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