Civilization (1915)

 |  Drama  |  2 June 1916 (USA)
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Reviews: 6 user | 4 critic

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

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Complete credited cast:
Howard C. Hickman ...
Enid Markey ...
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)


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 <>

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Release Date:

2 June 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Civilização  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ince contractee Billie Burke fainted in the audience to create publicity for the picture. See more »


Featured in Hollywood (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Thomas Ince, the Auteur
17 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Thomas H. Ince was one of the independents, who established Hollywood as the motion picture capital of the world to avoid the strong-arm of the Motion Picture Patents Company. He introduced the studio system: the assembly-line production of movies headed by producers. William S. Hart Westerns are probably Inceville's most notable product. They're certainly better than this, "Civilization", which, I suppose, must have been a more personal product than usual for Ince, with its obvious pacifist message.

In this fictionalization of the Great War, a German commander commits treason, sabotages his submarine and kills the crew to prevent the torpedoing of the Lusitania. It takes Christ's second coming to affect the German King, though. The story is ridiculous, with overdone morality and sentimentality, mawkish Christian allegory and over-use of intertitles. On the other hand, there is some nice photography, and the battle scenes, with explosions and smoke, are well edited, but that's merely the craftsmanship one should expect from the assembly line.

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