Filmed in Hollywood at the Fine Arts Studio on Sunset Boulevard in 1916,D.W.Griffith underscored the theme of the film's title by telling not one butfour stories from different periods: a Modern story of a young man in theUnited States sentenced to die for a murder he did not commit, a Frenchstory of the St.Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguernots by Catholics in1572, a Judean story of the crucifixion of Jesus set, in the first century,and a Babylonian story of the fall of the city of Babylon to Cyrus and thePersians in 539 BCE. Griffith daringly tells these stories cinematically byusing the technique of crosscutting with the film shifting back and forthform one story to another.Intolerance opened in New York City in 1916 with the musical score played bythe orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House. Both the critical and thepopular response to the film have been carefully documented.This excerpt was taken from Jesus at the Movies: A Guide to the FirstHundered Years by W. Barnes Tatum; 1997; PolebridgePress.
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