Intolerance (Restored Kino Edition) (Silent) NR

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(142) IMDb 8/10

Just one year after his huge success with BIRTH OF A NATION, Griffith embarked on the superproduction INTOLERANCE, in which four separate stories are interwoven: the fall of Babylon, the death of Christ, the massacre of the Huguenots, and a contemporary (early 20th Century) drama. These plotlines are all crosscut and build with enormous energy to a thrilling chase and finale.

Lillian Gish, Spottiswoode Aitken
3 hours, 18 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director D.W. Griffith
Starring Lillian Gish, Spottiswoode Aitken
Supporting actors Mary Alden, Frank Bennett, Monte Blue, William H. Brown, Lucille Browne, Elmer Clifton, Miriam Cooper, Josephine Crowell, Dore Davidson, Sam De Grasse, Edward Dillon, Taylor N. Duncan, Pearl Elmore, Howard Gaye, Olga Grey, Ruth Handforth, Robert Harron, Joseph Henabery
Studio Kino International
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on February 14, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Imagine that Steven Spielberg was no longer directing movies and that WAR OF THE WORLDS would be the one film he is remembered for. Would that be a fair assessment of his career? Absolutely not but that is what has happened to cinema pioneer D.W. Griffith. The film he is remembered for today is the 1915 BIRTH OF A NATION which was the first important American epic. Unfortunately its source material THE CLANSMAN (the film's original title) is a Southern view of the Civil War which glorifies the Ku Klux Klan and is extremely racist (although toned down considerably from the book by Thomas Dixon). Griffith made 34 feature films and over 400 shorts between 1908 and 1931. In the overwhelming majority of these he is a social progressive tackling such issues as poverty, political corruption, worker exploitation and interracial romance. He even made an anti-Klan film THE ROSE OF KENTUCKY back in 1912.

I mention all of this because in this current climate of political correctness Griffith is being judged and censured on the basis of one film as opposed to his whole body of work and the damage being done to his reputation is still going on. In the recent Oscar nominated film JUNEBUG, one of the characters is a Southern racist Civil War painter who happens to be named David Wark (the D.W. in Griffith's name).

INTOLERANCE, the follow-up to NATION, was the most ambitious and expensive film ever made up to that point (1916) and forever changed the way that movies would be made after it. Because of the lifesize sets of Ancient Babylon and the thousands of extras employed, the movie would cost over $500 million to remake today. Its central theme shows how intolerance through the ages breeds anger, anger then breeds repression and repression breeds more intolerance.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Daniel H. Hawkins on January 22, 2001
Format: DVD
I must admit that I was intimidated by "Intolerance" before sitting down to watch it. I knew it was an early silent movie (1916) consisting of four different stories. I knew that the three hour running time would be spent intercutting between these four stories. Would I be able to keep up with all four stories? Would I be able to tell the different characters apart in the grainy black and white (with color-tinting)?
After watching it, I have a whole new appreciation for D.W. Griffith. Yes, I was able to tell the characters apart, and yes, I was able to keep up with all the storylines. This film was a giant leap forward in filmmaking from Griffith's previous film, "The Birth of a Nation." The most impressive story of the film is the fall of Babylon. The sets were magnificent, and the battle scenes were spectacular. Constance Talmadge was wonderful as the Mountain Girl. The modern story was entertaining and moving. The French and Judean stories were very underdeveloped, but that really didn't bother me.
Anyone with an interest in silent movies or film history must see this film.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Rivkah Maccaby on December 2, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I've loved this film since I was a teenager. I've even read the bizarre short story that inspired it. Lillian Gish's character, Lucy, is supposed to be twelve in the story, but D.W. Griffith thought the horror of the abuse Lucy endures would traumatize a child actress, so Griffith changed Lucy's age to sixteen, and cast twenty-two year old Gish, who at five-foot-two, about ninety lbs., and in pancake make-up, manages to pull it off.
Child abuse was a new concept when this film was made. The first child abuse case in the US had been prosecuted during Griffith's lifetime (under animal cruelty laws). In order to play to audiences of 1918, when whipping children was acceptable punishment for minor violations, the abuse of Lucy, has to be severe.
Griffith doesn't need to look far. According to the original story, Lucy's boxer father isn't permitted to "strike" his "manager or to throw chairs at him," "but to use a dog-whip on a small child is permissible and quite as satisfying." So Lucy's bruised body "crept about Poplar and Limehouse. Always the white face was scarred." (I have seen Griffith's copy of the book, with his marginal notes, as well as a monograph by the author of the particular story, with signed thanks from Griffith and Gish.)
There are many ironies in this film. This is the first film treatment of child abuse, and it shows horror, because only vicious horror will convince an audience of 1918 that a child is better off away from her father.
The film also shows scenes in an opium den, at a time when this drug is perfectly legal. Our hero is a user, with no intent of quitting. The hero, played beautifully by Richard Barthelmess, is a white man in Asian make-up, because he kisses his under-age girlfriend.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on August 27, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD set is very impressive. Not only does it offer the masterpieces of D.W. Griffith's career (including, of course, Birth of a Nation) but it also has all the shorts from the two videos "Selected Biograph Shorts," additional shorts, a biography and news items, and memorabilia. I am very happy to finally be able to see "In the Border States" and "The House with Closed Shutters." They both star my favorite actor, Henry B. Walthall, and I was searching for these shorts for awhile. I believe this set represents the first time these shorts have been made widely available. Considering their age, they look great on this set. In addition, this collection offers a 6 minute discussion of Birth of a Nation between the director himself and Walter Huston (who played Lincoln in Griffith's 1930 talkie Abraham Lincoln), clips of Griffith's funeral, radio eulogy by Erich von Stroheim, and many other "special features." The memorabilia includes lobby cards and programs for Birth of a Nation, articles from Photoplay magazine which are copied well and easy to read, and photos, postcards and magazine covers of Griffith's leading ladies. I only wish the leading men received the same treatment, but one can't have everything. A silly short starring Griffith ("Rescued From the Eagle's Nest" from 1908) and a very fake looking bird is included. The presentation is very well-done with video clips and period music on the menu pages. The packaging is also handsome and displayable. I was hoping little booklets would be included with each disc, however, there are only slips of paper with the film listings and pictures. Still, the bonus shorts and tons of extras make this a must for any Griffith or silent film collection.
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