It was hard, having to post back-to-back D.W. Griffith films that are very similar in terms of what I’d talk about, but I had no choice. Intolerance is such a major film I had to do it.
I’m not going to spend most of the time talking about it’s importance in film history and all of that, except to say – it cost $2.5 million, which made it by far the most expensive film ever made, and it would continue to be as such for a number of years afterward. And it also became a flop, I guess because costs were so high.
Now, what I do want to talk about in regards to this movie is the idea of the epic film. And specifically the epic silent film. Because this film was a tremendous undertaking, and required a lot of sets and costumes and people (over 3,000 extras). It’s a behemoth film, running somewhere between just under 200 minutes or just over 200 minutes. So, about the same length as Titanic. And, just watching it, you go, “Holy shit, look at the scale.” You rarely see this type of scale in filmmaking, and it’s made all the more impressive because you know they had to do it all legitimately. You couldn’t fake any of this and make it on a computer. Everything was done for real. (more…)