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Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 5 September 1916 (USA)
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The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Spottiswoode Aitken ...
Brown Eyes's Father (as Spottiswoode Aitkin)
...
Uplifter
Frank Bennett ...
Monte Blue ...
The Strike Leader
William H. Brown ...
Father of the Bride of Cana / Warden (as William Brown)
Lucille Browne ...
Uplifter
Elmer Clifton ...
The Rhapsode
...
Josephine Crowell ...
Dore Davidson ...
The Friendly Neighbor
Sam De Grasse ...
Edward Dillon ...
Crook
Taylor N. Duncan ...
Captain of the Gateg / Bodyguard of the Princess Beloved (as Ted Duncan)
Pearl Elmore ...
Uplifter
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Storyline

Intolerance and its terrible effects are examined in four historical eras. In ancient Babylon, a mountain girl is caught up in the religious rivalry that leads to the city's downfall. In Judea, the hypocritical Pharisees condemn Jesus Christ. In 1572 Paris, unaware of the impending St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, two young Huguenots prepare for marriage. Finally, in modern America, social reformers destroy the lives of a young woman and her beloved. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mr Griffith's First Production since "The Birth Of A Nation" See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

5 September 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Intolerance  »

Box Office

Budget:

$385,907 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2000 video release) | (DVD) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many sources claim that the walls of Babylon were actually life-size, at 300 feet--more than 25 stories--high. However, assistant director Joseph Henabery said that the walls, which were made of lath and plaster with a lumber frame, were only 100 feet high, as 300-foot-high walls of that material would have blown over with just a light wind. In fact, even at 100 feet high the walls were guyed with steel cables because a fairly stiff breeze would have blown them down. See more »

Goofs

The position of the Mountain Girl's head when Belshazzar arrives at the marriage market. In one shot her head is bowed, in the next, she is looking up at him, and in the shot after that, her head is still bowed and then she looks up at him. See more »

Quotes

Intertitle: Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Constance Talmadge is credited as 'Georgia Pearce' for her performance as Marguerite de Valois in the French Story. She is credited under her own name in the role of The Mountain Girl in the Babylonian Story. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Post-War Cinema (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Historical Perspective
8 March 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

This silent film by director D.W. Griffith is well known to serious movie buffs and historians, but not to today's general public. I doubt that a lot of people these days would have the patience to sit through a film that contained three hours of silence. Nevertheless, the film's technical innovations inspired filmmakers in the 1920's and later, particularly in Russia and Japan. It also inspired filmmakers in the U.S., including Cecil B. DeMille and King Vidor. For this reason, and for other reasons, "Intolerance" is an important film.

The film's four interwoven stories, set in four different historical eras, are tied together thematically by the subject of "intolerance", a word which could be accurately interpreted today as "oppression", "injustice", "hate", "violence", and mankind's general inhumanity.

Griffith's narrative structure, though innovative, is uneven, because he gives more screen time to two of the four stories (the "modern" and the "Babylonian"). Equal time for three stories, thus deleting the fourth, might have worked better.

To me, the Babylonian story is the most interesting one because of its more complete coverage, and because of its elaborate costumes and spectacular sets. Even though there is no script, the viewer can easily discern the plot, which suggests that some of today's films might be just as effective, or more so, if screenwriters would downsize the dialogue.

What "Intolerance" offers most of all to contemporary viewers is a sense of perspective. Someone once said that despite the enormous advances in technology, society itself has advanced not at all. That may be true. In the eighty plus years since the film was released, technical advances in film-making have been obvious and impressive. But we are still plagued with the same old human demons of oppression, injustice, hate, violence, and ... intolerance.


54 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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