The Fall of Babylon (1919)

Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Intolerance, D.W. Griffith's towering achievement interlocking four stories of intolerance throughout the ages, has been bowdlerized by the Master himself in this 1919 re-tread utilizing the Babylon sections of that mammoth film. In an effort to recoup some of his disastrous personal losses incurred upon the initial release of Intolerance, Griffith re-edited both the Babylon sequences and the modern section (retitled The Mother and the Law) and distributed them as separate films. The lasting appeal of Intolerance has always been the spectacularly extravagant Babylon story and here it is without "the cradle endlessly rocking." In the story, Babylon is ruled by Belshazzar (Alfred Paget) a kindly king. A true democrat in respect to religion, he earns the enmity of his chief priest, the High Priest of Bel (Tully Marshall). When Cyrus (George Siegmann), the king of the Medes and Persians, attacks Babylon's fabled walled city, the High Priest betrays Belshazzar to Cyrus. The city rallies to Babylon's defense -- including a plucky mountain girl (Constance Talmadge) who secretly loves the king -- but Cyrus's immense forces overpower the beleaguered city.