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The Fall of Babylon

The public wasn't entirely crazy about D.W. Griffith's massive production Intolerance when he presented it [in 1916]. At that time there was too much interest in the greatest drama of the time - the war - so D.W. laid Intolerance in mothballs. He later decided to take the Babylonian story out, shoot a few extra scenes, and send it forth as The Fall of Babylon.

With:
Tully Marshall Constance Talmadge Elmer Clifton Alfred Paget Carl Stockdale Seena Owen

The public wasn’t entirely crazy about D.W. Griffith’s massive production Intolerance when he presented it [in 1916]. At that time there was too much interest in the greatest drama of the time – the war – so D.W. laid Intolerance in mothballs. When he pulled it out of the camphor he decided to take the Babylonian story out of the big feature, shoot a few extra scenes to piece the story out and send it forth as The Fall of Babylon.

He opens with a tableau that is part stage and part screen, a special small screen to show New York, the modern Babylon, which, after a dissolve, brings the large screen and the opening scenes of the feature. After the first series of scenes there is a dance on stage by Kyra that outdoes anything that Gertrude Hoffman or Annette Kellerman ever tried.

The final scene of the first part is the beginning of the battle before the walls of Babylon.

The second part opens in one of the halls of Babylon and here there are 12 slave girls and Margaret Fritts, a soprano. A number here, entitled ‘The Mountain Maid,’ is very pretty and a dance by the girls also helps to fill the picture nicely. The scene is a fitting prelude to the revels that follow on the screen. Finally the fall of Babylon is accomplished and the love story that D.W. threads through the big battle scenes is brought to a fitting close with the lovers in a fond embrace.

The love story is not carried too much in the foreground any time in the feature, Griffith knowing full well that the tremendous scenes of the City of Babylon carry the feature along. Constance Talmadge is always on the job and one learns to look for her and to like her.

The Fall of Babylon

Production: Griffith. Director D.W. Griffith; Producer D.W. Griffith; Screenplay D.W. Griffith; Camera Billy Bitzer

Crew: Silent. (B&W) Extract of a review from 1919. Running time: 82 MIN.

With: Tully Marshall Constance Talmadge Elmer Clifton Alfred Paget Carl Stockdale Seena Owen

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