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Intolerance: Griffith Masterworks DVD

SKU ID #351063

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Price: $29.95

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  • Technical Specs
  • Format: DVD
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Run Time: 197 Minutes
  • Region: 1 Region?
  • Aspect Ratio: Fullscreen
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 10, 2002
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Audio:
    ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Color: Color
  • Includes:
    Filmed Introduction by Orson Wells
    Excerpts From Cabiria (1914) and The Last Days of Pompeii (1914), two films that inspired Griffith to make Intolerance
    Text Excerpts from Away With Meddlers: A Declaration of Independence and The Rise and Fall of Free Speech In America, two pamphlets published by D.W. Griffith at the time of Intolerance's release
    Excerpt of The Fall of Babylon (1916) which offers an alternate (happy) ending to the Babylonian sequence
    About the Score
Rather than being related chronologically, the four stories are told in parallel fashion, slowly at first, and then with increasing rapidity. The action in the film's final two reels leaps back and forth in time between Babylon, Calvary, 15th century France, and contemporary California. Described by one historian as "the only film fugue," Intolerance baffled many filmgoers of 1916 -- and, indeed, it is still an exhausting, overwhelming experience, even for audiences accustomed to the split-second cutting and multilayered montage sequences popularized by Sergei Eisenstein, Orson Welles, Jean-Luc Godard, Joel Schumacher, and MTV. On a pure entertainment level, the Babylonian sequences are the most effective, played out against one of the largest, most elaborate exterior sets ever built for a single film. The most memorable character in this sequence is "The Mountain Girl," played by star on the rise Constance Talmadge; when the Babylonian scenes were re-released as a separate feature in 1919, Talmadge's tragic death scene was altered to accommodate a happily-ever-after denouement. Other superb performances are delivered by Mae Marsh and Robert Harron in the Modern Story, and by Eugene Pallette and Margery Wilson in the French Story. Remarkably sophisticated in some scenes, appallingly naïve in others, Intolerance is a mixed bag dramatically, but one cannot deny that it is also a work of cinematic genius. The film did poorly upon its first release, not so much because its continuity was difficult to follow as because it preached a gospel of tolerance and pacifism to a nation preparing to enter World War I. Currently available prints of Intolerance run anywhere from 178 to 208 minutes; while it may be rough sledding at times, it remains essential viewing for any serious student of film technique.
 
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