Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Intolerance unfair to Cyrus the Great


Swithin
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm not one to complain when a character from history is depicted inaccurately in a movie, after all, we're not talking about documentaries. But .... I think *Cyrus the Great* was depicted unfairly in Intolerance. He was a pretty good guy, in fact pretty tolerant. The film made the Babylonians look good. Cyrus came across like a villain with really bad hair.

 

For scholarly evidence, read A.T. Olmstead's seminal work, The History of the Persian Empire. If you prefer Biblical evidence, read the books of Daniel, Ezra, Isaiah and others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since it's the Jewish New Year today, it's fitting to remember Cyrus' assistance to the Jewish community. This quote is from Wikipedia, but it is echoed in many scholarly books as well (he was tolerant and supportive of other groups as well):

 

"Cyrus the Great figures in the Hebrew Bible as the patron and deliverer of the Jews. He is mentioned 23 times by name and alluded to several times more. From these statements it appears that Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, was the monarch under whom the Babylonian captivity ended, for according to the Bible, in the first year of his reign he was prompted by God to make a decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and that such Jews as cared to might return to their land for this purpose. Moreover, he showed his interest in the project by sending back with them the sacred vessels which had been taken from the First Temple and a considerable sum of money with which to buy building materials."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, we ARE discussing a DW GRIFFITH movie, and if Cyrus WAS a "patron and deliverer" of the Jews, it's no surprise Griffith would show him in an unfavorable light.

 

I never did see this movie all the way through, so it would be unfair for me to make further comment on it. Although I will say that the bits and pieces I saw the other night looked to be a bit haphazard in costuming. Particularily the Babylonian sequences. And that SCORE! OY! Maybe it was fitting for a movie called "Intolerance" since the structure and instrumentation was INTOLERABLE! I may NEVER watch this thing in entirety if they show it again with that horrible score.

 

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>Well, we ARE discussing a DW GRIFFITH movie, and if Cyrus WAS a "patron and deliverer" of the Jews, it's no surprise Griffith would show him in an unfavorable light.

 

_Stop trashing Griffith!_

 

See this:

 

*TWO LINCOLNS*

 

*D.W. Griffith's vision returns in tandem with Spielberg's dream*

 

http://cityarts.info/2012/11/14/two-lincolns/

 

*Nothing at the movies this year tops the still-revelatory prologue of D.W. Griffith's 1930 Abraham Lincoln. Kino Classics finally restores on Blu-ray the complete MoMA print with its usually excised - suppressed - opening sequence.*

 

*For the first time in American cinema - until Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997) - Griffith visualizes the slave trade's middle passage that haunts the American psyche.*

 

*This opening provides context to the naming of Lincoln at his birth. Griffith highlights the Judeo-Christian significance of ?Abraham? - a cross-racial impulse in American folk culture. In the biographical vignettes of Griffith's film, the development of Lincoln's legal and political imagination is dramatized as a product of American vernacular experience. His first (of two) forays into talkies, Griffith combines his fluid mastery of the silent form with the static limitations of early-sound pictures to create the still-definitive cinematic Myth of Abraham Lincoln.*

 

Read more at that link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, Sepia! Leave the man alone, will YA?!

 

I mean just THINK how "subtle" the man was while pressing his points TOO!!! Uh-huh...like that final scene in "Intolerance", where all those soldiers cease their fighting and drop their weapons after seeing all those angels up in Heaven!!!

 

(...ya can't get any more "subtle" than THAT, now can YA???!!!)

 

LOL

 

;)

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Sep 5, 2013 1:33 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DW GRIFFITH *JUDITH OF BETHULIA*

 

Filmed in 1913 in a studio in the Brox in New York, with outdoor scenes filmed in Chatsworth, north of Hollywood, California. Released in 1914.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9mIR0y1WQM

 

------------------------------

 

http://www.silentsaregolden.com/featurefolder3/judithcommentary.html

 

This is a Biblical story with all the trappings of a soap opera. It's about the siege of the Israelite city of Bethulia by the Assyrians complete with betrayal, loyalty, murder, Biblical characters, mass killings, decapitation, soldiers and weapons.

 

A pious and wealthy widow, Judith (Blanche Sweet), conceives a plan to end the siege of the city at a time when the beleaguered inhabitants are near starvation, and, after forty days, are ready to surrender. The young widow dresses herself seductively as a courtesan and goes to the enemy camp where she attracts the attention of Nabuchodonosor's general whose army is laying siege to the city. Judith offers herself to the Assyrian general, Holofernes (Henry Walthall), after a wild night of feasting and revelry as a part of her plan to save her city

 

The reviews were favorable:

Variety, March 27, 1914: "It is not easy to confess one's self unequal to a given task, but to pen an adequate description of the Biograph's production of 'Judith of Bethulia' is, to say the least, a full grown man's job."

 

The Moving Picture World, March 7, 1914: "A fascinating work of high artistry, 'Judith of Bethulia' will not only rank as an achievement in this country, but will make foreign producers sit up and take notice."

 

----------------------------------------

 

http://www.silentsaregolden.com/judithofbethuliareview.html

 

Bethulia is a fortified town of Judea, guarding a hill pass through which an invading Assyrian army must march in order to enter Judea. In the town lives Judith, a devout young woman of lofty character and remarkable beauty, when the place is stormed by Holofernes at the head of a large army. The fighting before the gate brings into action an enormous number of soldiers on both sides, and those engines of war, such as the battering ram and catapult, which were used by the fighting male of other days under close condition of furious combat. One desperate assault after another is repelled, scaling ladders are thrown down, great rocks are showered upon the invaders, and the wonder is that they keep at it. The reason is that Holofernes has a way of torturing and killing unsuccessful captains. As officer had better die in the thick of battle than return with a confession of defeat. Holofernes is as merciless as nature to all who fail.

 

The great leader's brutality of his captains when they do not succeed in carrying the fortress by storm indicates what the inhabitants of Bethulia may expect in the event of capture and serves to intensify the clash of character later on - it adds peril to the undertaking of Judith when she resolves to sacrifice herself for her people. Holofernes, after making a horrible example of defeated captains by frightful torture, resorts to strategy. His soldiers have seized the wells from which the inhabitants of Bethulia obtained their water supply, and their leader adopts waiting tactics, diverting himself with dancing girls to break the tedium. Bethulia is on the verge of famine, and the besieged are almost ready to surender the fortress and all Judea to the spoilers, when Judith goes forth in her finest raiment, accompanied only by her maid, enters the Assryian camp and obtains an interview with the merciless Holofernes. Against his formidable strength, his brutal ferocity and cunning, his absolute power, are matched her fascinating personality directed by intelligence and hidden purpose. She is willing to carry "her fault on her shoulders like a coronation mantle."

 

The dangerous and difficult situation from this point to Judith's terrible triumph and the defeat of the invading Assyrians is pictured without loss of force or charm by extreme delicacy of treatment. Beauty is constantly asserted by almost reckless prodigality in the matter of costume, and by the appeal of delightful acting. The feminine sweetness and shyness of the lovely Judith are intensified by her advances and retreats in measuring her sex attractions against his formidable power. She is weakened at the critical moment by a sudden flame of passion and compassion aroused in her breast, but self-control returns at a thought of all that is at stake, the safety and happiness of thousands of her people, and she dares be all and do all that revolts her finer nature from a deep hatred of injustice and wrong meted out to her peace-loving kindred and friends, from a noble desire to preserve her country and the destinies of her race.

 

 

Scenes from the movie:

 

http://www.silentsaregolden.com/featurefolder3/judithscenes.html

 

----------------------------------------

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Judith

 

 

The Book of Judith has a tragic setting that appealed to Jewish patriots and it warned of the urgency of adhering to Mosaic law, generally speaking, but what accounted for its enduring appeal was the drama of its narrative. The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, Judith remains unmarried for the rest of her life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Dargou,..do you not get tired of always needing to have the last Word ?!

 

The boards are supposed to be to express our opinions and Respect one another's opinions, Not to put other posters down !

 

Your post to Sep was 'Over the Top', wouldn't you say ?!

 

Twink

 

Edited by: twinkeee on Sep 5, 2013 7:19 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How was I exactly "putting someone else's opinion down" with by observation of that both Griffith and DeMille used soap opera theatrics to tell their tales of the Bible???

 

It's common knowledge that they DID, and ESPECIALLY in DeMille's case. And thus all my previous post's point was to jokingly refer TO this fact and elicit a "knowing chuckle" from those who DO know this, and NOT to make fun of the post or poster I used in response.

 

(...you're gettin' mighty over sensitive again, my dear)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

..because Dargou,... FredC's posts are very informative and I am sure a lot of posters enjoy reading them and learn a lot from them.

 

I noticed that they were sent to Sepiatone and yet You replied to them !

 

You also mentioned to Sep, "Leave the Man alone, will Ya"!, ...that's in poor taste and uncalled for, so beneath you!

 

Twink

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WHAT?! A guy can't call out for another guy leave some other guy alone anymore or somethin'????

 

What's this world comin' to anyway!!!!

 

LOL

 

(...ya see, THIS is what happens when "some folks" can't stand it when someone else challenges their hard and fast opinions and then resent it enough to place them on their ignore function...'cause MY motto has always been: "If you're going to talk in definitive statements, then put on your Big Boy Pants and get ready to defend those thoughts of yours"...and unfortunately it appears "some folks" around here don't have those "Big Boy Pants" in their boudoir)

 

Case in point, my response to Fred in THIS thread today, and which because of him doing this very thing, he'll never read.....

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=170796&tstart=0

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Sep 5, 2013 5:13 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, okay...I'll show how "tolerant" I can be then, Twink...seein' as how you now wish to change the subject back to this film "Intolerance".

 

(...and which ironically I've found little if any thoughts of yours being expressed about this film so far in this thread...so go ahead, what did YOU think of it, huh?!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Lord, what hath I wrought? I brought up the unfair depiction of Cyrus in Intolerance because, as I wrote, he really was a decent chap. I mentioned his benevolent attitude to the Jews because it's Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Cyrus also treated the other groups within the Persian Empire fairly, including, for the most part, the conquered Babylonians. There is a similarity between Cyrus and the Moghul Emperor, Akbar the Great, who not only championed diversity, he also held symposia on religion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen Abraham Lincoln and the opening scene employs a static camera, wooden acting and fake downpour amidst the rural cabin to illustrate the birth of Abraham. It all amounts to a garish artifice. The only thing of note is Walter Huston's portrayal of Lincoln. Even for 1930 the story is wrought with maudlin performances, a hallmark of all of Griffith's worst films.

 

D.W. Griffith helped to establish the myth of Abraham Lincoln?

 

*In a pig's eye, mite !*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Your post was more of an attack on DW Griffith than it was a praise of some old guy named Cyrus. I really don't care who Cyrus was, or what he did, or what he should have done, and I've never paid any attention to him or any of the French people in this movie. I watch it mainly to see some of the more unusual and spectacular scenes and to study how they were filmed and edited, and how lavish the props and costumes are.

 

I went about 60 years of my life hearing only good things about the great director Griffith, but all of a sudden, here at the dawn of the 21st Century, it seems that lots of film buffs feel obligated to trash him for some reason.

 

I don't care if he made a few mistakes in a couple of films in 1915 and 1916 that would not be approved of now in the 21st Century. Jeepers Creepers, man! How could he have known what the he** you people would want to see in a film a hundred years later after he made it? How many average movie-goers of 1916 even paid any attention to the foreign names mentioned in Intolerance? All most of them wanted to see were the battle scenes, the heads being cut off, and the half-naked dames.

 

Do you realize that Griffith directed the vast camp-out in Golden Gate Park scenes in SAN FRANCISCO (1936), and he is the man (the actor) seen conducting the opera orchestra in that film?

 

Study those Golden Gate park scenes, they are vast, they go off way into the far distance, typical Griffith staging of a large number of people and tents, brilliant! And very realistic.

 

Fred

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, ONCE AGAIN, if YOU Fred wouldn't have me on his ignore function, then he'd be able to read my response to you about a director's, ANY director's personal history and/or "being a great guy" or not on the whole is irrelevant to the discussion of Art, AND debunking your contention that "it's only been in this 21st Century when Griffith's possible personal views and NOT his abilities as a director have been called into question!"

 

IT'S RIGHT HERE IN THIS OTHER THREAD ABOUT GRIFFITH...

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=170796&tstart=0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...