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  Intolerance Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
9.31 /10
Mae Marsh, Lillian Gish, Constance Talmadge
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Directed by: D.W. Griffith
Written by: D.W. Griffith

Released: 1916
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Colour: BW
Length: 115

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"It is easy enough, as you catch your breath at the conclusion of Intolerance to indulge in trite superlatives. Film reviewing has been over-superlatived. But this new Griffith spectacle marks a milepost in the progress of the film. It reveals something of the future of the spectacle, something of the power to create pictures of tremendous sweeping beauty, drama and imagination... [It] is the screening of an idea. That alone places it as an advance."
(Frederick James Smith, New York Dramatic Mirror)
"Here is a joy-ride through history; a Cook's tour of the ages; a college education crammed into a night. It is the most incredible experiment in story-telling that has ever been tried... The finest individual acting accomplishments are Mae Marsh's... Mr Bitzer's photography, devoid of anything sensational, flows like the transparent, limpid style of a finished writer... It is without tricks and without imperfections... Profoundest of the symbols is the Rocking Cradle." (Julian Johnson, Photoplay)
"In Intolerance Griffith's genius reached its fullest expression."
(Lillian Gish, actress)
"Some aspects of [Griffith's] work are so daring that they discourage any attempt at imitation. Who, for example, would have the courage to tackle a design as vast as that of Intolerance? Four actions, placed in four different historical epochs, their four themes interwoven, unrolling side by side to the final simultaneous denouement. In this way his chariots raced to the destruction of Babylon at the same time as the train swept the characters of the present day story through the plains of America, each of these actions progressing at an equal speed toward its appointed end. I have seen at that moment an average cinema public bursting into applause, so perfect was the rhythm and so triumphantly had that unbelievable hazardous conception been executed."
(Rene Clair, 1950)
"By now Griffith was working in terms of symphonic proportions and the result is a monument to his unbounded ambitions ... The creative sweep of the work made people think in terms of Shakespeare and Beethoven ... the film was really ahead of its time."
(Liam O'Leary, The Silent Cinema, 1965)
"The crowd scenes are brilliantly managed and so are the close-ups. The social message is laid on somewhat heavily, but the mark of an outstanding personality is on every frame."
(Anthony Burgess, National Film Theatre Bulletin, 1984)
"At a date when few other directors even bothered to move the camera or show a face in close-up, Griffith sent his brilliant and fearless cameraman Billy Bitzer up in a balloon, pioneeered the process shot, showed the ceiling of the Medici throne-room 20 years before Citizen Kane and - for his sins - found the time to invent false eyelashes."
(David Ekserdjian, Independent, 1988)
"Has never been equalled for sheer spectacle - or cinematic daring."
(Kevin Brownlow, London Film Festival Programme, 1988)

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