Intolerance


2h 46m 1916
Intolerance

Brief Synopsis

In this silent film, four stories from different eras intertwine to depict man's inhumanity to man.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Mother and the Law
Genre
Drama
Historical
Silent
Religion
Release Date
Sep 5, 1916
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
D. W. Griffith; Wark Producing Corp.
Distribution Company
Wark Producing Corp.; Road Show
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 46m
Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
13-14 reels

Synopsis

When the Boy marries the Dear One, he decides to sever his relations with the underworld, which is led by the Musketeer of the Slums. Not willing to let the Boy go, however, the Musketeer has him arrested on a trumped up charge, after which the Dear One, declared an unfit mother by the Jenkins foundation, has her baby taken away by the authorities. The Boy is soon released, but when the Musketeer is murdered by the Friendless One, an ex-sweetheart, the Boy is charged with the crime. Finally, the Boy is saved from hanging when the Friendless One confesses. Three other intercut stories serve as counterparts to the modern drama. One story depicts the events that lead to Christ's crucifixion. In another, describing the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, Catherine de Medici persuades her son, King Charles IX of France, to murder the Huguenots. Finally, in ancient Babylon, the High Priest of Bel schemes with Cyrus of Persia to take over the empire. The Mountain Girl, who loves Prince Belshazzar of Babylon, learns of the plot and tries to warn the prince, but she arrives too late. She dies during a battle with the invading forces, while the prince and his sweetheart Attarea commit suicide rather than submit to the tyranny of Cyrus and the high priest.

Cast

Lillian Gish

The woman who rocks the cradle

Lillian Langdon

Mary, the Mother

Olga Grey

Mary Magdalene

Baron Von Ritzau

First Pharisee

Count Von Stroheim

First Pharisee

Bessie Love

The Bride of Cana

George Walsh

Bridegroom of Cana

Howard Gaye

Christ

William Brown

The Bride's Father

Margery Wilson

Brown Eyes

Spottiswoode Aitken

Her Father

Ruth Handforth

Her mother

Eugene Pallette

Prosper Latour

A. D. Sears

The Foreign Mercenary

Frank Bennett

Charles IX, King of France

Maxfield Stanley

Duc D'Anjou

Josephine Crowell

Catherine de Medici

Georgia Pearce

Marguerite de Valois

W. E. Lawrence

Henry of Navarre

Joseph Henabery

Admiral Coligny

Louis Romaine

Catholic Priest

Morris Levy

Duc de Guise

Howard Gaye

Cardinal Lorraine

Raymond Wells

Counsellor of the King

George James

Counsellor of the King

Louis Ritz

Counsellor of the King

John Bragdon

Counsellor of the King

Constance Talmadge

The Mountain Girl

Elmer Clifton

The Rhapsode

Alfred Paget

The Prince Belshazzar

Seena Owen

The Princess Beloved, Attarea

Loyola O'connor

Attarea's Slave

Carl Stockdale

The King Nabonidus

Tully Marshall

The High Priest of Bel

George Siegmann

Cyrus

Elmo Lincoln

The Mighty Man of Valor

Robert Lawler

Babylonian Judge

Grace Wilson

First Dancer of Tammuz

Lotta Clifton

Second Dancer of Tammuz

George Beranger

Second Priest of Bel

Ah Singh

First Priest of Nergel

Ranji Singh

Second Priest of Nergel

James Curley

Charioteer of Cyrus

Ed Burns

Charioteer of the Priest of Bel

James Burns

Charioteer of the Second Priest of Bel

Kate Bruce

Babylonian Mother

Pauline Stark

Favorite of the Harem

Mildred Harris

Favorite of the Harem

Winnifred Westover

Favorite of Egibi

Martin Landry

Auctioneer

Howard Scott

Babylonian Dandy

Arthur Meyer

Brother of the Girl

Alma Rubens

Girl of the Marriage Market

Ruth Darling

Girl of the Marriage Market

Margaret Mooney

Girl of the Marriage Market

Charles Eagle Eye

Barbarian Chieftain

William Dark Cloud

Ethiopian Chieftain

Charles Van Cortland

Gobryas, Lieutenant of Cyrus

Jack Cosgrove

Chief Eunuch

Ethel Grey Terry

Slave girl

Mae Marsh

The Dear One

Fred Turner

Her Father

Robert Harron

The boy

Sam De Grasse

Jenkins

Clyde Hopkins

His Secretary

Vera Lewis

Mary T. Jenkins

Mary Alden

Society Social Worker

Luray Huntley

Self-styled Uplifter

Lucille Brown

Self-styled Uplifter

Eleanor Washington

Self-styled Uplifter

Pearl Elmore

Self-styled Uplifter

Mrs. Arthur Mackley

Self-styled Uplifter

Miriam Cooper

A Friendless One

Walter Long

The Musketeer of the Slums

Tom Wilson

The Kindly Policeman

Ralph Lewis

The governor

A. W. Mcclure

Father Farley

Edward Dillon

Chief detective

Lloyd Ingraham

Judge of the court

William Brown

Warden

Max Davidson

Kindly Neighbor

Alberta Lee

His wife

Frank Brownlee

The Brother of the Girl

Barney Bernard

Attorney for the Boy

Marguerite Marsh

Guest at Ball

Tod Browning

Owner of Racing Car

Kate Bruce

The City Mother

Film Details

Also Known As
The Mother and the Law
Genre
Drama
Historical
Silent
Religion
Release Date
Sep 5, 1916
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
D. W. Griffith; Wark Producing Corp.
Distribution Company
Wark Producing Corp.; Road Show
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 46m
Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
13-14 reels

Articles

Intolerance on Blu-ray


Earlier this year the new disc label the Cohen Film Collection released a fine restoration of Douglas Fairbanks' silent classic The Thief of Bagdad. It's now following up that epic with what is still the considered the most grandiose silent movie ever made, D.W. Griffith's Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages. Cohen's digital restoration is quite an accomplishment: most film students were introduced to Griffith's masterpiece in mediocre prints that didn't convey the quality of G.W. "Billy" Bitzer's cinematography.

Intolerance was Griffith's next release after his incredibly successful, bitterly controversial Birth of a Nation. Deciding that his next career step needed to be something bigger than his just-finished film Mother and the Law, the producer-director decided to use it as just one part of a multi-story super-epic. The film's four separate narratives take place in entirely different eras. They do not play out one after another, but instead simultaneously. Griffith frequently cuts between them, bridging centuries in a single cut. The idea is that their common theme of injustice and intolerance will be reinforced as a constant part of the human condition.

The story thread taken from Mother and the Law is about a modern working class couple in crisis. After a cruel industrialist orders troops to fire on a labor demonstration, they are forced to move to a city slum. The Boy (Bobby Harron) hires on with a gangster. Nosy social 'Uplifters' see his wife the Dear One (Mae Marsh) struggling to raise her baby, and decide to take it away from her. The Boy is sentenced to the gallows for a murder he did not commit.

In the second, French storyline, religious persecution leads to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, with a Catholic Mass Murder of Huguenots. Innocent young Brown Eyes (Margery Wilson) is a victim. The third story takes place in Judea, and depicts events in the life of the Christ (Howard Gaye), ending with his crucifixion.

The fourth narrative is an epic tale of ancient Babylon. Prince Belshazzar (Alfred Paget) opens his empire to a wider number of religions, and prepares to marry his Princess Beloved (Seena Owen). Unknown to the Prince, the High Priest of Bel (Tully Marshall) is so fearful that his power has been diminished, he betrays Babylon to the conqueror Cyrus the Great. A lighter story involves the mischievous Mountain Girl (Constance Talmadge), who avoids a marriage auction and eventually becomes a fierce, devoted warrior for the Prince. After Babylon's high walls repel a direct assault by Cyrus' army, the High Priest follows through on his treachery. The Mountain Girl races to warn Belshazzar in time.

Griffith adds one more structural element. Like a repeated refrain in an epic song, the film repeatedly returns to a single image of the Eternal Mother (Lillian Gish) by a cradle, accompanied by a phrase from Walt Whitman: "Out of the cradle endlessly rocking." Griffith uses the image as a buffer between the stories.

The film's highly original narrative structure hasn't been used again, at least not on this scale. The historical and Biblical stories amplify the theme of social intolerance in the Modern Story. Griffith switches between the parallel narratives at least fifty times, often comparing internal content. For instance, the guilty verdict in the Modern Story is delivered just before Pontius Pilate hands down his judgment on Jesus in the Judean Story. The idea is that there is but one human drama, and our personal conflicts are replays of experiences shared by everyone who ever lived.

The most written-about part of Intolerance is the drawn out, suspenseful conclusion, in which the crosscutting between the stories accelerates to a dizzying climax. A car carrying the Dear One races to save the Boy from the hangman's noose, is intercut with The Mountain Girl's chariot as she hurries to warn Babylon of the Persian attack. The cutting pace becomes fairly frantic. Griffith's idea is to superimpose the excitement of one storyline onto the next, multiplying the drama. As most of the stories end tragically, the suspense heightens as the final climax approaches.

The four stories vary in filming and acting styles. Most scenes in the Modern Story are staged in conventional 1916 terms, in boxy sets with a static camera. But Griffith will also use dynamic shots taken from moving vehicles. Other scenes in the city slums express a gritty naturalism that matches the unwholesomeness of the occupants, including the femme fatale (Miriam Cooper). The French story shows off fancy costumes but is easily the weakest. The Judean episodes resemble dioramas From The Bible, with reverent graphic embellishments, such as when a cross is superimposed over the Jesus character. Griffith acknowledged that he made the Babylon sequence on a grand scale to out-spectacle the Italian epic Cabiria. The enormous set is certainly bigger than anything in the Pastrone movie, but Griffith wasn't comfortable moving the camera as much as the Italian director. Beyond the enormous moving 'elevator crane' angles, we see only a few shots that truck with Belshazzar as he walks.

But Griffith takes every opportunity to display extravagant violence in the Babylon battles. Break-apart dummies are beheaded on camera and spears are plunged into screaming victims. We also see experiments with erotic imagery. C.B. De Mille must have been impressed by the license shown in Griffith's harem sequence, which abounds with artful nudity.

Griffith defines intolerance rather loosely, as the absence of Love of One's Fellow Man. He's against greedy industrialists, power-mad High Priests and religious bigots. But the need for villains occasionally makes the Griffith seem intolerant as well. The "Uplifters" that take away the Dear One's baby are presented as sexually frustrated spinsters looking to make other people suffer. We aren't convinced that Griffith would feel any differently about the progressive feminist reformers that in 1916 were beginning to make progress against terrible social problems in the slums.

But Griffith displays a knack for feel-good sentiments likely to be welcomed by movie audiences. His epilogue shows armies on a battlefield dropping their weapons as the skies open up to admit an angelic host. It's still a highly emotional climax.

Critics have been debating the strengths and weaknesses of this gargantuan motion picture for almost a century. The extras on Cohen's disc tell us that original audiences had no trouble understanding the multiple story structure. The film's reported box office failure may have occurred because Griffith insisted on touring it with an expensive full orchestra. Another factor is that it was released during WW1, at a time when many newspapers and politicians were lobbying President Wilson to enter the war. That's not optimal timing for an essentially pacifist movie.

The Cohen Film Collection's Blu-ray of Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages is a beautiful encoding of this impressive show. The 2K digital restoration eliminates many of the common flaws dogging older film prints. The shots are steady, sharp and detailed. In the crane shots of the Babylon steps we can make out plenty of detail even when the view is fairly wide. Scenes end smoothly and the color tinting is even and consistent. Missing frames and tiny up-cuts are still present, but as they no longer jump they seem less obtrusive.

A second Blu-ray disc contains the disc extras plus two entire separate feature film presentations derived from Intolerance. The stand-alone version of Mother and the Law was finally issued on its own in 1919, and plays quite effectively. The Fall of Babylon assembles the epic segment into one narrative thread. To make audiences happy, a partial "happy" ending was shot, to exploit the blooming stardom of actress Constance Talmadge.

The must-see extra is silent movie authority Kevin Brownlow's entertaining, informative lecture featurette. Brownlow adds special insights and interesting detail to well-known facts about the movie. He has special praise for Carl Davis' orchestral score, which appears on this disc in 5.1 sound. An insert pamphlet contains essays by William M. Drew and Richard Porton.

By Glenn Erickson
Intolerance On Blu-Ray

Intolerance on Blu-ray

Earlier this year the new disc label the Cohen Film Collection released a fine restoration of Douglas Fairbanks' silent classic The Thief of Bagdad. It's now following up that epic with what is still the considered the most grandiose silent movie ever made, D.W. Griffith's Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages. Cohen's digital restoration is quite an accomplishment: most film students were introduced to Griffith's masterpiece in mediocre prints that didn't convey the quality of G.W. "Billy" Bitzer's cinematography. Intolerance was Griffith's next release after his incredibly successful, bitterly controversial Birth of a Nation. Deciding that his next career step needed to be something bigger than his just-finished film Mother and the Law, the producer-director decided to use it as just one part of a multi-story super-epic. The film's four separate narratives take place in entirely different eras. They do not play out one after another, but instead simultaneously. Griffith frequently cuts between them, bridging centuries in a single cut. The idea is that their common theme of injustice and intolerance will be reinforced as a constant part of the human condition. The story thread taken from Mother and the Law is about a modern working class couple in crisis. After a cruel industrialist orders troops to fire on a labor demonstration, they are forced to move to a city slum. The Boy (Bobby Harron) hires on with a gangster. Nosy social 'Uplifters' see his wife the Dear One (Mae Marsh) struggling to raise her baby, and decide to take it away from her. The Boy is sentenced to the gallows for a murder he did not commit. In the second, French storyline, religious persecution leads to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, with a Catholic Mass Murder of Huguenots. Innocent young Brown Eyes (Margery Wilson) is a victim. The third story takes place in Judea, and depicts events in the life of the Christ (Howard Gaye), ending with his crucifixion. The fourth narrative is an epic tale of ancient Babylon. Prince Belshazzar (Alfred Paget) opens his empire to a wider number of religions, and prepares to marry his Princess Beloved (Seena Owen). Unknown to the Prince, the High Priest of Bel (Tully Marshall) is so fearful that his power has been diminished, he betrays Babylon to the conqueror Cyrus the Great. A lighter story involves the mischievous Mountain Girl (Constance Talmadge), who avoids a marriage auction and eventually becomes a fierce, devoted warrior for the Prince. After Babylon's high walls repel a direct assault by Cyrus' army, the High Priest follows through on his treachery. The Mountain Girl races to warn Belshazzar in time. Griffith adds one more structural element. Like a repeated refrain in an epic song, the film repeatedly returns to a single image of the Eternal Mother (Lillian Gish) by a cradle, accompanied by a phrase from Walt Whitman: "Out of the cradle endlessly rocking." Griffith uses the image as a buffer between the stories. The film's highly original narrative structure hasn't been used again, at least not on this scale. The historical and Biblical stories amplify the theme of social intolerance in the Modern Story. Griffith switches between the parallel narratives at least fifty times, often comparing internal content. For instance, the guilty verdict in the Modern Story is delivered just before Pontius Pilate hands down his judgment on Jesus in the Judean Story. The idea is that there is but one human drama, and our personal conflicts are replays of experiences shared by everyone who ever lived. The most written-about part of Intolerance is the drawn out, suspenseful conclusion, in which the crosscutting between the stories accelerates to a dizzying climax. A car carrying the Dear One races to save the Boy from the hangman's noose, is intercut with The Mountain Girl's chariot as she hurries to warn Babylon of the Persian attack. The cutting pace becomes fairly frantic. Griffith's idea is to superimpose the excitement of one storyline onto the next, multiplying the drama. As most of the stories end tragically, the suspense heightens as the final climax approaches. The four stories vary in filming and acting styles. Most scenes in the Modern Story are staged in conventional 1916 terms, in boxy sets with a static camera. But Griffith will also use dynamic shots taken from moving vehicles. Other scenes in the city slums express a gritty naturalism that matches the unwholesomeness of the occupants, including the femme fatale (Miriam Cooper). The French story shows off fancy costumes but is easily the weakest. The Judean episodes resemble dioramas From The Bible, with reverent graphic embellishments, such as when a cross is superimposed over the Jesus character. Griffith acknowledged that he made the Babylon sequence on a grand scale to out-spectacle the Italian epic Cabiria. The enormous set is certainly bigger than anything in the Pastrone movie, but Griffith wasn't comfortable moving the camera as much as the Italian director. Beyond the enormous moving 'elevator crane' angles, we see only a few shots that truck with Belshazzar as he walks. But Griffith takes every opportunity to display extravagant violence in the Babylon battles. Break-apart dummies are beheaded on camera and spears are plunged into screaming victims. We also see experiments with erotic imagery. C.B. De Mille must have been impressed by the license shown in Griffith's harem sequence, which abounds with artful nudity. Griffith defines intolerance rather loosely, as the absence of Love of One's Fellow Man. He's against greedy industrialists, power-mad High Priests and religious bigots. But the need for villains occasionally makes the Griffith seem intolerant as well. The "Uplifters" that take away the Dear One's baby are presented as sexually frustrated spinsters looking to make other people suffer. We aren't convinced that Griffith would feel any differently about the progressive feminist reformers that in 1916 were beginning to make progress against terrible social problems in the slums. But Griffith displays a knack for feel-good sentiments likely to be welcomed by movie audiences. His epilogue shows armies on a battlefield dropping their weapons as the skies open up to admit an angelic host. It's still a highly emotional climax. Critics have been debating the strengths and weaknesses of this gargantuan motion picture for almost a century. The extras on Cohen's disc tell us that original audiences had no trouble understanding the multiple story structure. The film's reported box office failure may have occurred because Griffith insisted on touring it with an expensive full orchestra. Another factor is that it was released during WW1, at a time when many newspapers and politicians were lobbying President Wilson to enter the war. That's not optimal timing for an essentially pacifist movie. The Cohen Film Collection's Blu-ray of Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages is a beautiful encoding of this impressive show. The 2K digital restoration eliminates many of the common flaws dogging older film prints. The shots are steady, sharp and detailed. In the crane shots of the Babylon steps we can make out plenty of detail even when the view is fairly wide. Scenes end smoothly and the color tinting is even and consistent. Missing frames and tiny up-cuts are still present, but as they no longer jump they seem less obtrusive. A second Blu-ray disc contains the disc extras plus two entire separate feature film presentations derived from Intolerance. The stand-alone version of Mother and the Law was finally issued on its own in 1919, and plays quite effectively. The Fall of Babylon assembles the epic segment into one narrative thread. To make audiences happy, a partial "happy" ending was shot, to exploit the blooming stardom of actress Constance Talmadge. The must-see extra is silent movie authority Kevin Brownlow's entertaining, informative lecture featurette. Brownlow adds special insights and interesting detail to well-known facts about the movie. He has special praise for Carl Davis' orchestral score, which appears on this disc in 5.1 sound. An insert pamphlet contains essays by William M. Drew and Richard Porton. By Glenn Erickson

Intolerance


Intolerance (1916) is a landmark American epic that interweaves stories of prejudice and inhumanity from four historical eras, ranging from Babylon to the modern day. Many future stars, such as Lillian Gish, appear in major roles, while others, like Erich von Stroheim and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., appear as extras. Director D.W. Griffith intended Intolerance to stand as a rebuke against evil and injustice, and as a rebuttal to the severe criticism that he received after the release of his previous picture, The Birth of a Nation (1915).

The epic, three-eighths-of-a-mile-long sets that were created for the Babylonian sequence towered above the streets of Hollywood, but probably not as high as its reputation in Hollywood legend. It is hard to imagine now how the set must have appeared to the citizens of Los Angeles. In the age before skyscrapers dotted the Los Angeles horizon, the Babylon set, towering 165 feet above the Hollywood bungalows, and by far the most expensive set ever made by that time, looked like an ancient city springing up from beneath Los Angeles itself. Griffith's conception of the grandeur of the Babylon sequence was inspired by Quo Vadis (1912) and Cabiria (1914), both made in Italy. In turn, Intolerance influenced other silent epics, such as Robin Hood (1922) and The Thief of Bagdad (1924).

The undisputed hero of the construction of the Babylon set, as well as other sets in Intolerance, was Frank "Huck" Wortman, the chief carpenter, set builder, and stage mechanic. A rough, down-to-earth man who chewed tobacco and spat out of the side of his mouth, it was Wortman who saved Griffith thousands of dollars in production costs by imagining and improvising new ways of making huge sets look the part. The beautiful archways in the Jerusalem set, for example, were ingenuously created by bending thin boards and coating them in plaster. Overall, Griffith depended heavily on Wortman to raise the Babylon set to newer, more stupendous heights. Everyday the sets kept growing larger and higher than the original plans called for. There was a very real fear that they would collapse, so whenever a nighttime windstorm fell upon the city, Wortman and several other crewmen would jump into their cars and race to the set in order to reinforce the cable supports. While the publicity for Intolerance greatly exaggerated the sets as reaching 500 feet high, the truth behind the legendary sets placed the bar for future epic movies in terms of grandiosity and workmanship.

Director/Producer: D.W. Griffith
Screenplay: Tod Browning, D. W. Griffith
Cinematography: G. W. Bitzer, Karl Brown
Art director: Walter Hall
Production designer: D.W. Griffith
Set design: Frank "Huck" Wortman
New Score by Carl Davis
Principal Cast: Olga Grey (Mary Magdalene), Lillian Gish (The Eternal Mother), Robert Harron (The Boy), Joseph Henabery (Admiral Coligny), Lloyd Ingraham (Judge of the Court), Elmo Lincoln (Belshazzar's bodyguard).
BW & C-177m.

by Scott McGee

Intolerance

Intolerance (1916) is a landmark American epic that interweaves stories of prejudice and inhumanity from four historical eras, ranging from Babylon to the modern day. Many future stars, such as Lillian Gish, appear in major roles, while others, like Erich von Stroheim and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., appear as extras. Director D.W. Griffith intended Intolerance to stand as a rebuke against evil and injustice, and as a rebuttal to the severe criticism that he received after the release of his previous picture, The Birth of a Nation (1915). The epic, three-eighths-of-a-mile-long sets that were created for the Babylonian sequence towered above the streets of Hollywood, but probably not as high as its reputation in Hollywood legend. It is hard to imagine now how the set must have appeared to the citizens of Los Angeles. In the age before skyscrapers dotted the Los Angeles horizon, the Babylon set, towering 165 feet above the Hollywood bungalows, and by far the most expensive set ever made by that time, looked like an ancient city springing up from beneath Los Angeles itself. Griffith's conception of the grandeur of the Babylon sequence was inspired by Quo Vadis (1912) and Cabiria (1914), both made in Italy. In turn, Intolerance influenced other silent epics, such as Robin Hood (1922) and The Thief of Bagdad (1924). The undisputed hero of the construction of the Babylon set, as well as other sets in Intolerance, was Frank "Huck" Wortman, the chief carpenter, set builder, and stage mechanic. A rough, down-to-earth man who chewed tobacco and spat out of the side of his mouth, it was Wortman who saved Griffith thousands of dollars in production costs by imagining and improvising new ways of making huge sets look the part. The beautiful archways in the Jerusalem set, for example, were ingenuously created by bending thin boards and coating them in plaster. Overall, Griffith depended heavily on Wortman to raise the Babylon set to newer, more stupendous heights. Everyday the sets kept growing larger and higher than the original plans called for. There was a very real fear that they would collapse, so whenever a nighttime windstorm fell upon the city, Wortman and several other crewmen would jump into their cars and race to the set in order to reinforce the cable supports. While the publicity for Intolerance greatly exaggerated the sets as reaching 500 feet high, the truth behind the legendary sets placed the bar for future epic movies in terms of grandiosity and workmanship. Director/Producer: D.W. Griffith Screenplay: Tod Browning, D. W. Griffith Cinematography: G. W. Bitzer, Karl Brown Art director: Walter Hall Production designer: D.W. Griffith Set design: Frank "Huck" Wortman New Score by Carl Davis Principal Cast: Olga Grey (Mary Magdalene), Lillian Gish (The Eternal Mother), Robert Harron (The Boy), Joseph Henabery (Admiral Coligny), Lloyd Ingraham (Judge of the Court), Elmo Lincoln (Belshazzar's bodyguard). BW & C-177m. by Scott McGee

Quotes

Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking...
- Intertitle
When women cease to attract men, they often turn to reform as a second option.
- Intertitle

Trivia

The inspiration for this film came from D.W. Griffith's surprise at the loud protests against his previous film, The Birth of a Nation (1915). In response to those attacks, he wanted to illustrate the problem with intolerance to other people's views.

The massive life-size of the great Wall of Babylon, seen in the fourth story of the silent film, Intolerance (1916), was placed at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard (in Hollywood, California USA) when the movie was completed. It became a notable landmark for many years during Hollywood's golden era.

On 9 November 2001, the newly-built Kodak Theatre complex at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland (in Hollywood, California USA) had its Grand Opening. (Incidentally, the Kodak Theatre is the new permanent home for the Annual Academy Awards event beginning with the 74th Annual Academy Awards on 24 March 2002.) The tall Archway standing in the Babylon Court of the Kodak Theatre Complex is redesigned from the silent film Intolerance as are the Elephant Statues. Each Elephant Statue weighs 33,500 pounds.

D.W Griffith was forced to re-shoot the sequence of the crucifixion because certain organizations were saying that Griffith shot too many Jewish extras around the cross, and not enough Romans. Griffith then burned the footage and re-shot the scene with more Roman extras.

Jenkins and his foundation are modeled after John D. Rockefeller and his own foundation. The massacre of workers at the beginning of the movie is modeled after the Ludlow massacre of 1914, in which Rockefeller was involved.

Notes

This film was copyrighted under the complete titles Intolerance, Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages and Intolerance, a Sun-play of the Ages. The working title was The Mother and the Law. The Majestic Motion Picture Co. advanced money for the first production expenses. Before it was completed, D. W. Griffith and Harry E. Aitken, the owners of the film, agreed to incorporate a company, the Wark Producing Corp., to finish the film and exploit it. The film was made at the Fine Arts Studio in Hollywood. According to Variety, the B'nai Brith prevailed upon Griffith to reshoot the crucifixion scene, which as it was originally shot, showed Jews crucifying Christ. The film had a trial showing in Riverside, CA on August 5, 1916, and opened in New York at the Liberty Theatre on September 5, 1916. The film was shown at large theaters in various cities with a prologue and two acts.
       Intolerance's narrative contained four stories which were interwoven with each other to develop Griffith's theme in the same manner he used in earlier films of rhythmically intercutting developing scenes within one story with the device he called "the switchback." Although contemporary reviewers called Griffith's method of construction "revolutionary" and praised the film for this, the historical accuracy, and the spectacular sets and effects, the film, according to modern accounts, did not do well at the box office. In 1917, Griffith ordered that all discards from Intolerance be saved for possible use in releases of separate films from the separate stories. In 1919, two separate films were in fact released, The Mother and the Law and The Fall of Babylon ; because parts of the original negative of Intolerance were used in the new films, it became impossible to restore Intolerance to its original form.
       According to Photoplay, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree and DeWolf Hopper were in the film as extras. Robert Anderson assisted Griffith in make-up and technical direction. R. Ellis Wales, the technologist, contributed to designing, costuming and historical authorization. J. A. Barry was an executive and producing assistant to Griffith. Both Robert Lawler and Lawrence Lawlor were listed in contemporary sources for the role of "Babylonian Judge" but for the release of The Fall of Babylon, George Fawcett was credited with that role. Ethel Terry, listed in the 1920 MPSD as playing an Egyptian slave girl, is probably the actress Ellen Terry (not to be confused with the British stage actress Ellen Terry). She is not the same as Ethel Grey Terry, whom modern sources state played one of the favorites of the harem. Hal Wilson, Francis McDonald, Clarence H. Geldert and Ernest Butterworth are listed as additional cast members in the MPSD. Wilbur Higby, an actor and director, worked on the film in some capacity, according to the MPSD.
       Modern sources list the following additional credits: Titles by D. W. Griffith, assisted by Anita Loos and Frank E. Woods; edited by Griffith, with James and Rose Smith; set design by Walter L. Hall and Frank Wortman; property master, Ralph DeLacy; assistant property and special effects man, Hal Sullivan; assistant carpenter, Jim Newman; carpenter, Shorty English; assistant directors, Erich von Stroheim, Edward Dillon, Tod Browning, Joseph Henabery, Allan Dwan, Monte Blue, Elmer Clifton, Mike Siebert, George Hill, Arthur Berthelon, W. Christy Cabanne, Jack Conway, George Nichols and Victor Fleming; research assistants, Joseph Henabery and Lillian Gish; religious advisors, Rabbi Myers and Father Dodd; dances staged by Ruth St. Denis; costumes by Western Costume Co.; score arranged by D. W. Griffith and Joseph Carl Breil; stills by James G. Woodbury.
       According to modern sources, the following additional cast members were in the film: in the modern story, J. P. McCarthy (prison guard), Monte Blue (strike leader), Billy Quirk (bartender), Tully Marshall (a friend of the Musketeer); in the Judean story, W. S. Van Dyke (a wedding guest); in the French story, Chandler House (a page); in the Babylonian story, Gino Corrado (the runner), Wallace Reid (a boy killed in the fighting), Ted Duncan (captain of the gate), Felix Modjeska (bodyguard to the princess), Mme. Sul-te-Wan (girl of the marriage market), Carmel Myers, Jewel Carmen, Eve Southern, Natalie Talmadge, Carol Dempster, Daisy Robinson (who is listed as appearing in the film in MPSD), and Anna Mae Walthall (favorites of the harem), Owen Moore, Wilfred Lucas, Douglas Fairbanks, Frank Campeau, Nigel de Brulier, Donald Crisp and Tammany Young (extras), and the Denishawn Dancers, of whom Carol Dempster was a member. Although some modern sources credit Ruth St. Dennis as the solo dancer, she denied this in an interview.
       Modern sources state that Constance Talmadge used the name of Georgia Pearce for her role in the French story. Lines used in the scenes of Lillian Gish rocking the cradle, which link the four stories, are taken from the poem "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" by Walt Whitman in the third edition of Leaves of Grass (New York, 1860).

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall September 5, 1916

Released in United States on Video September 25, 1991

Released in United States 1973

Released in United States November 1988

Released in United States October 2, 1989

Shown at London Film Festival (Retrospective) November 11 & 12, 1988.

Shown at New York Film Festival (Retrospective) October 2, 1989.

D W Griffith invested much of his own money toward the making of the film.

Selected in 1989 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

The film is made up of three seperate tales entitled "The Mother in Law," "The St. Bartholomew's Eve Massacre" and "The Crucifixion."

Douglas Fairbanks was an extra in the film.

Film took two years to complete.

reels 14

Released in United States Fall September 5, 1916

Released in United States on Video September 25, 1991

Released in United States 1973 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (The Great American Films) November 15 ¿ December 16, 1973.)

Released in United States November 1988 (Shown at London Film Festival (Retrospective) November 11 & 12, 1988.)

Released in United States October 2, 1989 (Shown at New York Film Festival (Retrospective) October 2, 1989.)