Next on the list is a film that’s considered one of the greatest silent films ever made, Intolerance. Intolerance was created by D.W. Griffith as a response to the negative outrage shown towards his previous masterpiece Birth of a Nation. He wanted to let audiences know that he knows what inhumanity is and how the human condition should be treated. Well, the best way to make your point come across is to turn it into a piece of art that will turn into an everlasting legacy.
Intolerance is about how inhumanity takes on many forms with four stories that overlap each other. One during 539 AD when a clash between two rival G-ds results in the fall of Babylon, another during 27 AD of Jesus Crist’s crucification, a third during 1572 of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and the final taking place present day of the issues a married couple faces during a labor strike. All four of these stories have some kind of connection to each other based on the tragedy/downfall in a genius way.
D.W. Griffith is back again with his epic story-telling methods. This film shows the most beautifully built sets for a film not just of the 1910s but of any time. The fall of Babylon battle was incredibly epic! It reminded me of The Battle of Helm’s Deep scene in Lord of the Rings. Write in the comments how many extras you think were in the battle of Babylon scene. And again, Griffith is back with his various colored tints to represent each story.
I believe that the Fall of Babylon story was the most interesting to me visually but my favorite storyline is the present day storyline of the melodrama between The Dear Little One and The Boy and how the results of a shooting will keep their marriage together. So what’s your favorite storyline?
This was the most expensive film at the time of $2 million for the lovely sets we enjoy seeing. Does that seem expensive to you for a film? During the film’s release, it didn’t exactly relate to its audience so well since World War I was coming so audiences weren’t in the mood to see a film about achieving peace.
Intolerance still a film ahead of its time. One thing I’ve noticed about D.W. Griffith is that he reminds me of an early James Cameron in using innovative techniques that audiences weren’t ready for and being a perfectionist in each of his work. Every title card I see of his I picture his voice reading his words with such confidence. Don’t believe me? Read this quote and tell me how you would picture the tone: “When cannon and prison bars wrought in the fires of intolerance – And perfect love shall bring peace forevermore. Instead of prison walls – Bloom flowery fields.”
Here is the most expensive film of the early 1900s and please comment on what you think: