Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)
The theme of intolerance is looked at via four stories in different times and places – Persia in 539 BC, Judaea circa 27 AD, France in 1572, and the United States in 1914 (i.e., the present when this was made). The film is extremely unsubtle, as was the custom at the time. It is also wildly ambitious and very expensive-looking, with amazing sets. Themes include religious hypocrisy, common folks being crushed by the rich, and “money is evil”. The cross-cutting between the time periods is skillfully done, especially towards the end, which features a suspenseful race against time. Parts of the film are hard to follow, and as a result not as involving. There are too many characters we aren’t given the chance to get to know. This is particularly true of the France segments.
(I apologize for the quality of the images; I was taking pictures of my tv screen…)