Search - Intolerance: A Sun Play of the Ages on DVD

Intolerance: A Sun Play of the Ages
Intolerance A Sun Play of the Ages
Actors: Spottiswood Aitken, Mary Alden, Frank Bennett, Monte Blue, Lucille Brown
Genres: Classics, Drama
NR     2004     2hr 47min

D.W. Griffith?s masterpiece encompasses four stories (the modern era, Jerusalem, 1572 Paris, and Babylon), tackling both time and geography. Boasting a cast of thousands, gargantuan sets, chariot races, the crucifixion, de...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Spottiswood Aitken, Mary Alden, Frank Bennett, Monte Blue, Lucille Brown
Genres: Classics, Drama
Sub-Genres: Silent Films, Drama
Studio: Delta
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 03/10/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 47min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Superb Film That Never Fails To Amaze
Christopher D. Shaner | Rocky Hill, Connecticut USA | 03/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have long been a great admirer of this wonderful film, and am always interested in the latest VHS or DVD editions that are made available. The print quality on this Delta release is surprisingly good, making it an excellent value for the curious collector desiring an introduction to D. W. Griffith's 1916 cinema masterpiece. There are several different edited versions of Intolerance that have been produced over the last few years for video, each slightly unique in terms of editing and emissions/additions of key scenes. This Delta DVD version is no exception, with some interesting fadeouts to a couple of scenes that, in some prints, cut abruptly to the next shot. The music that accompanies the film sounds as if it was pieced together from pre-recorded sources, but it works well enough and it's apparent some real effort was used to match the music to the mood of the images. As to the film itself, Intolerance is a brilliant and powerful milestone in the history of cinema. D. W. Griffith wove four separate stories together, each from a different period of history, to illustrate the theme of man's inhumanity to man. The results were certainly startling to 1916 audiences, and no less impressive today. Superb performances abound in all four stories, most notably Mae Marsh and Robert Harron in the Modern Story, Constance Talmadge and Elmer Clifton in the Babylonian Story, Howard Gaye in the Nazarene Story, and Margery Wilson, Eugene Pallette and Josephine Crowell in the French Story. The beautiful repeated shot of Lillian Gish as the Woman Who Rocks The Cradle, a device linking the individual stories, has become an enduring icon of the Silent Cinema. And of course, the magnificent sets of Ancient Babylon are among the most wonderful ever created for a moving picture. My recommendation to first-time viewers of Intolerance would be to try this version out, and then pursue the newly restored Kino version for a more definitive print. The cover art for Delta's release is also interesting, using vintage advertising art for the film that focuses on a crucial scene for Mae Marsh in the Modern Story. All in all, a very decent job in bringing a landmark film to the home screen."
Still stands as one of the best films ever made.
Hallstatt Prince | MA. USA | 06/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Intolerance is one of those rare films that stretched the boundaries of the medium of film. It is a sweeping epic that contains four stories each tragic each highlighting the intolerance man has for his brothers through out the ages. Although a long movie (3hours) we find ourselves totally immersed in it and mesmerized by it. It is not just a movie but an experience.

Its themes are as relevant today as they were then as among other topics it tackles it shows how people mistrust each other because of superficial things such as difference in race and in religion and how we carelessly blunder into war. And in the end how the character flaws of just one individual can bring the collapse of an entire civilization.

The sets of the movie were massive and unheard of in their day. When the movie was made it was made on a closed set and much secrecy surrounded the project but people could not ignore the set of Babylon as it began to rise over Los Angeles.

The film is not perfect as some of the performances in the epic vary in quality the sets and story lines astound and it still stands as one of the most ambitious movies ever made and sets the bar for the film epic.

A handful of separate stories are joined by the repeating image of Lillian Gish rocking a cradle. It is a symbol of nurturing a mother and the hope that comes with each new generation. It is a symbol of the passage of time with the endless parade of carnage through out history contrasted with the fact that we all come into the world in the same way. It is a very moving and powerful image.

The story of the intolerance of man is told through a handful of stories - the fall of Babylon, the crucifixion of Jesus, the persecution of the Huegenots and the (then) present day meddling of well meaning social workers.

Although Griffith hammers away at the theme of intolerance and its destructive consequences the last story to conclude involves a man falsely convicted, and is now about to be executed and whose life literally hangs by a thread (or rather several, though an apparatus where a group of men each cut away at a string not knowing which one will trip the door to the gallows) and is at the last minute (after a frantic car race to the warden) spared. In this way Griffith offers the viewer a glimmer of hope that the cycle of intolerance will someday be broken.

One wonders if the subject matter and title has something to do with the reaction D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation " received. This movie plainly shows Griffith's stance on the evils of racism.

One cannot help but think that the movie is making a political statement as well as during the time of the movie's release W.W. I was raging in Europe.

A great spectacle as well as a thoughtful meditation.

In my book it is one of the top fifty films of all time.

Highly recommended,

Jim Connell "Hallstatt Prince""