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 but
four stories from different periods: a Modern story of a young man in the
United States sentenced to die for a murder he did not commit, a French
story of the St.Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguernots by Catholics in
1572, 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 the
Persians in 539 BCE. Griffith daringly tells these stories cinematically by
using the technique of crosscutting with the film shifting back and forth
form one story to another.
Intolerance opened in New York City in 1916 with the musical score played by
the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House. Both the critical and the
popular response to the film have been carefully documented.
This excerpt was taken from Jesus at the Movies: A Guide to the First
Hundered Years by W. Barnes Tatum; 1997; Polebridge