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Civilization (1915)

Christ takes on the form of a pacifist count to end a senseless war.
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Complete credited cast:
Enid Markey ...
Lola May ...
Queen Engenie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bruce ...
A Mother
Luther Rolf, the peace advocate
George Fisher ...
The Prime Minister
Himself (prologue)
Herschel Mayall ...
The King of Wredpryd
Fanny Midgley
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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Release Date:

2 June 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Civilisation  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Cochrane, who was the press representative of the DNC, is quoted as claiming "Civilization" helped Woodrow Wilson beat Republican Charles Evans Hughes in 1916 campaign. See more »


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

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User Reviews

Watch it for the first 45 minutes, then turn it off.
20 January 1999 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

The movie is generally pretty silly, even by silent film standards. Still, the first half of the picture has some good scenes -- especially the "moment of truth" aboard the submarine. Unfortunately, once the Count goes to the underworld the film goes with him!

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