Film: 10624

Feature Drama | 1910 | Silent | B/W

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Synopsis:

"Our play is made up of four separate stories, laid in different periods of history, each with its own set of characters. Each story shows how hatred and intolerance through all the ages, have battled against love and charity. Therefore, you will find our play turning from one of the four stories to another, as the common theme unfolds in each" "Out of the cradle endlessly rocking"

The lights come up on a woman in white rocking a heavy cradle. To the left are seated three figures in dark robes leaning away from the light. "Today, as yesterday, endlessly rocking, ever bringing the same human passions, the same joys and sorrows." A heavy book, embossed with 'Intolerance' opens-"Our first story-out of the cradle into the present. In a western city, we find certain ambitious ladies banded together for the "uplift" of humanity" In a small room-in the center is a white door-two women clutching papers look to another woman, seated to the right. She rises, towering over the other two, who shrink down. "Even reform movements must be financed. "If we can only interest Miss. Jenkins-with her money" Inspired, they march out, the imposing woman leading the way. "A little affair is being given by Mary T. Jenkins, unmarried sister of the autocratic industrial overlord-" A shot of an elegant ballroom halved-on the left elegant women stand talking, looking down to the long arched hall which stretches to the right. In the distance couples dance and chat. The two women laugh and walk down the hall. A woman dressed in swathes of material and feathers talks to two men in tails looking down to the ballroom. A lady dressed in black, holding a fan minces carefully into a drawing room. A suited man rushes to greet her. The other side of the room, a group of women chatter and watch. The suited man moves from the woman in black to the group of girls. They leave together. Another young man rushes up to shake the hand of the woman in black. Across the room, a young blonde girl holding a fan gets up suddenly smiling, then, catching the eye of the man, sits down coyly. He says farewell to the woman in black. The young man walks diagonally across the approach to the ballroom. He leans, talking to an elegant girl. The woman in black, alone, looks folorn. The couple move off together to dance. The woman in black looks down, smiling. She then sees a small mirror. She sighs heavily. "Seeing youth drawn to youth, Miss Jenkins realizes the bitter fact that she is no longer a part of the younger world." She looks away to the couples dancing. She touches her face delicately.

"The girl of our story keeps house for her father who works in a Jenkins mill.With a wage of $2.75 a day, a little garden, four hens, ditto geese and a fair measure of happiness and contentment." A garden hedge and gate. Three geese waddle slowly along. Seen through chicken wire, four fat hens peck at the ground. A man carrying his jacket and filling a pipe wanders through the gate. A young woman in white runs after him to give him his lunch box and wish him goodbye. She shouts after him and spins on her heels-"The dear little one." She shouts and waves her arms. Two goslings walk towards one another. The girl laughs and runs off. "The boy, unacquainted with the little dear one, is employed with his father in the same mill." A man in an overall and a flat cap walks out from within an ivy-clad house. He greets his father, who's waiting for him. They walk off together. A huge crowd of men are walking down the street on their way to the mill. "Age intolerant of youth and laughter 'The restal virgins of uplift' succeed in reaching Miss Jenkins in their search for funds." Three smartly dressed women walk into a study where Miss Jenkins and her brother stand talking. They are introduced to all three women. One of whom says "We must have laws to make people good." In a bar, three men sit drinking and laughing. Back to Miss. Jenkins and friends. She goes on-"There is dancing in cafes" People dance in a shabby hall. Miss Jenkins brother gestures to a servant to provide chairs for the guests.

The Intolerance book turns a page "Comes now from out the cradle of yesterday, the story of an ancient people, whose lives though far away from ours, run parallel in their hopes and perplexities." The woman in white rocks the cradle, the hooded figures behind look to the right. "Anciet Jerusalem,the golden city, whose people have given us many of our highest ideals, and from the carpenter shop of Bethlehem, sent us the man of men, the greatest enemy of Intolerance." …"Near the Jaffa Gate." Under a set of stone arches, a crowd of robed people mill about. Two men lead a camel through the streets. A man sells birds to a small crowd. In a doorway, a young woman sits robed holding a baby. "The house in Cana of Galilee" Two men sit surrounded by white doves, to the right of them, an archway opens out into a bright square. An old man sits on a stone wall leaning heavily on a stick, birds at his feet. "Certain hypocrites among the Pharisees. Pharisee-A learned Jewish party, the name possibly brought into disrepute later by hypocrites among them." Two bearded old men robed in striped material walk together slowly. Lines of people either side of them bow their heads as the men pass by. "When these Pharisees pray they demand that all action cease." The robed men walk past a man selling pots, he chews and sucks his teeth, smiling. A man seated on the ground is staring a fire. He looks up to see the old man kissing his robes, saying "Oh Lord, I thank thee that I am better than other men." He holds his hands up to the heavens. The man chewing looks on. Suddenly he sees that the old man is gesturing upwards and freezes, food halfway to his mouth. Behind the old man, the entire street scene is still. The man starting his fire looks across and stops what he's doing. A young man struggles to hold up his heavy parcel. The Pharisee nods and gestures. All eyes are on him. "Amen" The man finishes his bread. The boy drops his parcel, the seated man carries on with the fire, everyone moves on. The Pharisee wanders on. The Intolerance pages turn-

"Another period of the past, A.D 1572-Paris, a hotbed of intolerance, in the time of Catherine de Medici, and her son Charles IX, King of France." In a cobbled square, children sit and people wander. "Charles IX receiving his brother, Monsieur La France, Duc d'Anjou." In a large hall, a man in white bows down, holding out his feathered hat, to a seated man. A huge crowd of guests look on. Duc d'Anjou creeps forward to kiss the Kings hand. He backs away, bowing as he goes. Catherine de Madici, in a large dress, stood behing Charles' seat leans to whisper in his ear. Pan across the hall. The walls are hung with rugs, people dressed extravagantly talk. "The heir to the throne, the effeminate Monsieur La France. Pets and toys his pastimes" The man in white stands, leaning his elbow on another mans shoulder. Hanging from his neck is a bag full of black puppies, which he pets as he talks. "Catherine de Medici, queen-mother who covers her political intolerance of the Huguenots beneath the cloak of the great Catholic religion. Note: Huguenots- the Protestant party of this period." She looks over Charles' shoulder. "The great protestant leader, the Admiral Coligny, head of the Huguenot party." A noble looking man in a ruff looks across the room. Charles and the queen mother look back. She says "What a wonderful man, the Admiral Coligny, if only he thought as we do." The Admiral looks across the room and, shaking his head, says to a friend, "What a wonderful King,if only he thought as we do." He looks away, preoccupied. "The Kings favour to Coligny increases the hatred of the opposite party." Charles and the Admiral embrace. The queen mother looks on. The Duc d'Anjou grimaces, then, seeing people are watching, forces a smile. A kneeling servant boy yawns. Guests eye each other. "Celebrating the betrothal of Marguerite of Valois, sister of the King, to Henry of Narvarre, royal Huguenot, to ensure peace in the place of Intolerance." In a cobbled street, surrounded by tall pointed buildings, crowds line the streets and hang out of windows, waving hankerchiefs. A procession, carrying flags walks along. "Marguerite of Valois." in the back of a carriage. She is wrapped in a mink shawl, wearing an ornate head dress, she nods to the crowds. She looks across to see three scantily clad women with loose hair, handing out things from a stall, and she shields her eyes. "Henry of Navarre" rides along, bowing from his horse. A row of soldiers shoulder their weapons. He leans to take something from the girls stall. "Brown Eyes, her family of the Huguenot party, and her sweetheart, Prosper Latour." A group of people stand at the steps to a house. A soldier walking by stops in his tracks. "Brown Eyes attracts the attention of a mercinary soldier." The soldier looks on as Brown Eyes talks to Prosper Latour. A close up of her face. They say farewell and she goes into the house. The soldier walks to look in the doorway, he goes to follow her, but drags himself away.

The open Intolerance book-"Returning to our story of today, we find the ambitious Miss Jenkins aligning herself with the modern Pharisees and agreeing to help the Uplifters" Miss Jenkins rises from her seat, as do her three guests, who thank her in turn." A diversion of the mill workers" Couples dance happily in a small hall. "To every thing there is a season..a time to mourne and a time to dance…He hath made everything…beautiful in his time" Eccleslastes III." The couples dance in the hall. "The dear little one having the time of her life" The girl sits at the bar, her long hair half up. She wears a gingham dress. She stirs a thick drink and sucks it through a straw. She turns to talk to a friend, saying "Want my straw?" She offers a sip of her drink to her friend. "Miss Jenkins recieves a check from her brother for the purposed uplift of humanity." She takes the check solomnly, he leaves. The girl at the mill party sucks a lollypop and holds a fan. She gestures excitedly towards the dance floor and grabs her friend by the arm. She runs across to where her father sits. He gives her a coin, she and her friend run amongst the dancers. "Jenkins studies his employers habits." A car pulls up. A man in uniform climbs out, the two suited men in the back follow. Two women in white stand in the doorway. Next to them, a sign reads-'Third Annual Dance. The employees of the Allied Manufacturers association Tonight' Mr Jenkins stoops to pick up a penny off the floor, he polishes it in his hankerchief. One of the women in white watches. He looks at her curiously, and she puts her hands on her hips, rolling her eyes provocatively. When he doesn't respond she glares at the floor. Inside the hall, people are dancing and laughing. Mr Jenkins looks at his watch, saying to his friend "Ten o'clock! They should be in bed so they can work tomorrow." He wanders away, puzzled. In the hall, everyone has formed long chains and they skip to and fro. The young girl runs to join in.

The books pages-"And now our fourth story of loves struggle against Intolerance, in that distant time when all the nations of the earth sat at the feet of Babylon" The woman in white sits rocking the cradle. "Outside of Imgur Bel, the great gate of Babylon, in the time of Belshazzar, 539 B.C Merchants, farmers, East Indians, with trains of elephants, Egyptians, Numidians and ambitious Persians spying upon the city." The tall walls of the city curve around. People and elephants laden with packs pass through the gates. A wall made up of sculptures of mythical creatures. A girl sits against it, dreaming. "The Mountain Girl down from the the mountains of Suisana." Men and soldiers lean against a wall decorated with images of wars. A girl, dressed in rags looks folornly into the distance. Close up of her face. "The Rhapsody, a warrier singer-Poet agent of the High Priest of Bel." A man, with long hair signals to the girl. She, looking confused, glances over her shoulder to see who he's talking to. He beckons her over to sit by him. Looking outraged, she bends down to find a rock to throw at him. "The Priest of Bel-Marduk supreme God of Babylon, jealously watches the image of the rival godess, Ishtar, enter the city, borne in a sacred arc." A curved window looks out over a landscape of ornate, symmetrical buildings. A statue of a bearded man stands looking out. The High Priest kneels looking up at the statue shaking. Insence rises. Outside of the city walls a crowd gathers to watch girls dancing. The Rhapsody again approaches the mountain girl, saying "Dearest one-in the ash heaps of my backyard there will be small flowers; seven lilies-if thou wilt love me-but a little." She rolls her eyes and stands up. He goes to embrace her and she pushes him away. She runs to join the crowd watching the dancers. He runs after her. He finds her, and creeping up behind her, kisses her shoulder, saying "Ishtar, godess of love, seven times I bow to thee. Let her enjoy this kiss" He runs away, and she spins around. Believing the man next to her to have kissed her, she gasps and grabs him by the neck. "On the great wall, the Prince, Belshazzar, son of Nabonidus, apostle of tolerance and religious freedom. Note-Replica of Babylons encircling walls, 300 feet in height and broad enough for the passing of chariots." On the top of the wall, a chariot pulls up. Around it, people fall on their knees and bow to the ground. Below them, a huge procession is in progress, children dance and crowds look on. In the chariot a bearded man sits in decorated robes and a tall head dress, being fanned with ostrich feathers. "The two sword man, Belshazzars faithful guard, a mighty man of valor." A powerful man stands, his sword by his side. Prince Belshazzar with his procession, leans to watch the crowds below. "The jealous priest of Bel sees in the enthronement of Ishtar loss of his religious power. He angrily resolves to re-establish his own god-incidentally himself." A man wearing a curled beard and tall hat looks across. "The gate of Imgur Bel which no enemy has ever been able to force." A gate, as high as a house, looms over the people that stand below. It is covered in intricate carvings. On either side, a group of slaves push around a cog which pulls open the gates. Close up of the slaves turning around the cog, carved into it are lions heads and lotus flowers. "Hand maidens from Ishtars Temple of Love and Laughter" Dozens of girls skip through the gates followed by a huge throne carried by slaves. The front is carved as a bearded mans face. Men walk ahead, burning insence. "The Princess Beloved, favourite of Belshazzar, in a room of scented cedar, plated with pure gold, in the hareem of my Lord the Prince." In a high room, adorned with carvings, a man kneels to present the Princess with a flower. She takes it and he backs away quickly. "A love blossom from Belshazzar. Stricken by her pale beauty, as though by white lightning." The princess stands, her long trane curled at her feet, holding the flower to her cheek. A maid kneels beside her, her face to the ground. "The brother of the Mountain Girl, having some slight trouble with his high-spirited sister, takes the matter to court." She sits, staring into space. Her brother arrives and gestures that they go. She looks back to see that she hasn't moved. He puts his hand on her shoulder and she gets up in a rage, kicking and punching until he drags her off. "The first known court of justice in the world. Note-Babylonian justice according to the code of Hammurabi, protecting the weak from the strong." In a room, a man speaks up to an older man seated in a chair on a pedestal. He has an advisor seated either side and is fanned constantly. The Mountain Girls brother tells the judge that she is incorrigible." He acts out her hair pulling and kicking. They beckon her forward. One man touches her arm and she flies into a rage, and is held down by guards. "The judgement is that she is to be sent to the marriage market to get a good husband." The woman in white rocks the cradle.

Open Book-"Resuming our story of today. Dividends of the Jenkins mill failing to meet the increasing demands of Miss Jenkins' charities, she complains to her brother which helps decide him to action." Mr Jenkins, sat at his desk, is on the telephone to a man "Order a ten percent cut in all wages." The man on the receiving end looks nervous. Outside the mill, the workers have gathered in protest."A great strike follows" One man stands up to speak. Others cheer him on-"They squeeze the money out of us and use it to advertise themselves by reforming us" On a hill overlooking the mill, the workers wives and children stand watching, more in the doorways of houses. "Hungry ones that wait to take their places" A crowd of men with lunchboxes watch and wait. Suddenly a group of soldiers run towards the striking workers. They lie on their bellies, aiming their rifles. In a garden, the little girl runs happily, collecting things up in her apron. The soldiers prepare a cannon. The ones on their bellies load their rifles. Suddenly the open fire. People run to see whats happening. The girl gasps and drops what shes doing. Inside the mill gates a row of suited men wait for the rioters with shot guns. One man runs inside for the telphone. The workers bang at the gates. On the other end of the telephone Mr. Jenkins sits relaxed in his study. He says "Clear the property" He gives the order and the men inside the mill courtyard move forward, firing as they go. The workers scatter in panic, their women and children running down the street. The young girl screams. Pan across the 'battlefield'. Three men lay dead, the mill owners keep firing. "The loom of fate weaves death for the boys father" A man falls to the ground, helped by his son who looks at him helplessly. Mr Jenkins sits in his study. The boy lies holding his father. The little girl runs out to greet her father, who hurries her indoors. "The exodus after a time of waiting, forced to seek employment elsewhere, many victims of the Jenkins' aspirations go to the great city nearby-the Boy among them" The boy comes out of his house, suited, carrying a suitcase. He wanders along. "A friendless one-alone-the result of the strike." A woman sits thoughtfully on a bench. The boy raises his hat to her and they talk briefly. He says farewell. "So, too, the Dear One- and her father" They walk out of their house, in jackets and hats, carrying suitcases. He closes the gate and she wipes a tear from her eye. Another woman sadly leaves her home. "Fate leads them all to the same district" In a busy street, a man watches a nervous woman leachorously. The boy watches from a doorway. A drunk man staggers past him and collapses on the pavement. The man watches the girl with growing interest. "The boy, unable to find work at last-" The boy bends down and steals the watch and wallet from the man passed out in the gutter. "Adversity causes the friendless one to listen to a muskateer of the slums." The man invites the woman into the bar for a drink. Mr Jenkins sits in his study. His sister runs in to kiss him. The workers, their heads bent, march to the mill.

The open book-"And again in Babylon"…"The marriage market. Money paid for beautiful women given to homely ones, as dowers, so that all may have husbands and be happy." Women, wrapped in white, lounge and fan themselves. "Lips brilliant with the juice of henna; eyes lined with kohl. Note- accroding to Herodotus, women corresponding to our street outcasts for life the wards of Church and State" Beautiful girls sit preening themselves. The Mountain Girl is led in by her brother. He talks to a man. "The Auctioneer looks down over the crowd. A gang of men look on, restless. The Mountain Girl, bored, looks into her bag and pulls out something. Her brother looks down and stops her, saying-"Tish tish! 'Tis no place to eat onions" Her brother leaves. She looks on, miserable. The auctioneer watches as a girl in white poses for the crowds. "The girls turn-perhaps not so different from the modern way." The Mountain Girl strides up onto the stage and stands, her hands on her hips surveying the crowd-"In distant Nineveh-one who would give his life if he were able to buy the merchandise held so lightly upon loves market." The Rhapsode stares, preoccupied. The Mountain Girl looks down. "Any man will be happy with this sweet wild rose- this gentle dove" A man walks forward to where she stands. He holds out his hand to touch her. Close up of her hand forming a fist. She lunges at him saying "But touch my skirt and I'll scratch your eyes out!" People wander away. She takes out an onion and chews on it, dejectedly. "The temper and rough language of the 'wild rose' prove her not to be wothout thorns." She wipes her oniony hands on her dress. The auctioneer looks down, saying "With her goes a third of a mina of silver" The customers shake their heads. The Mountain Girl looks on with contempt. Far away, the Rhapsode holds his head in misery. The auctioneer offers the whole box of money. The men shake their heads. The Mountain Girl cries out "You lice! You rats! You refuse me? There is no gentler dove in all Babylon than I" She is still yelling and stamping when Belshazzar and his parade comes up behind her. Everyone else falls to their knees. "Belshazzar now ruling for his father" She sees him and collapses down. Looking up she says, smiling "Oh lord of lords! Oh King of Kings! Oh Masu! Oh, scorching sun of the mid-day, these bugs will not buy me for a wife! I dwell in sorrow." He looks down at her. A servant holds a square block in his palm. Belshazzar rolls a revolving stamp, attatched to his ring, over the block and presents it to her, saying "This seal gives you freedom to marry or not to marry-to be consecrated to the godess of love or not, as thou choosest" His procession moves on. She looks after him, smiling in wonder. She marches down the steps, gleefully past the men that snubbed her. "The Rhapsode, working in the tenements, to convert backsliders to the true worship of Bel" The long haired boy stands on a stool, gesturing to onlookers. The Mountain Girl struts in behind him waving her arms. He jumps down and goes over to her. But she again pushes him away, saying "Put away thy perfumes, thy garments of Assinnu, thy female man. I shall love none but a soldier" The crowd gathered all laugh as she marches off. He, raising his arms to the onlookers, runs after her to cheers. She sweeps the floor of her room. "The love-smitten moutain girl vows eternal allegance to Belshazzar" She smiles to herself. "In the love temple virgins of the sacred fires of life." A fire burns in a large bowl. A woman dressed only in a thin sheet of muslin and head dress sings into a hand mirror. Smoke pours from a pot. A woman lies, hardly dressed, her bussom heaving. Another woman looks down, holding the mirror. Shot from above of a woman lying, covered only with flowers. A fountain pours and girls frolic in the water, others lounge on the steps. A figure sits, her hair loose, smiling in the water. Another girl leans down, watching a naked girl splashing in the pool below. In the palace, Belshazzar takes the hand of a his Beloved, who kneels at his feet. "He promised to build her a city, beautiful as the memory of her own, in a foreign land" He holds her to him, saying-"The fragrent mystery of your body is greater than the mystery of life." A guard sleeps in the sun. A woman plays a harp. Another, draped in cloth, dances slowly. Through the palace gates, girls dance. "Belshazzar the king, the very young King of Babylon and his Princess Beloved, clearest and rarest of all his pearls, the very dearest one of his dancing girls." The king and Princess, dressed ornately, look out over the kingdom. "The dear one in her new environment forced upon her by the Jenkins strike. The same old love and dreams" The girl sits, sewing. She gets up. "The hopeful geranium." She sadly looks at a wilting flower, but excitedly notices a new shoot. The coy girl who was forced to move as well, has become a flirt. The'Dear One' watches her from the flat, saying "I'll walk like her and maybe everyone will like me too." She smiles up. The flirt moves on, leaving a trail of men behind her. The little girl practices a sultry walk across the room. Her father comes in, his hair white. She shows him the work she's done. He holds his back and sits down carefully.

"In the same neighbourhood, the friendless one again" A woman sits drunk. The boy watches her from the other side of the room. "Across the hall. The musketeer of the slums." In his room, he has displayed statues and photographs of naked girls. The drunk girl gets up and bursts into the room across the hall. "The boy, now a barbarian of the streets, a member of the muskateers band." The boy comes into the room. He and the girl eye one another flirtily. The older man looks from one to the other moodily. He talks to the boy, who leaves the room. The man turns around to the girl who, in a rage, slaps him across the face, then kisses him passionately. "Imitating the walk of the girl on the street" The young girl runs down the stairs dressed up. She ties a scarf around her knees to make her skirt cling. She minces up and down, smiling. "The boys news stand, a blind for his real operations. Their first meeting." The girl sashays down the street. The boy is interested, but she brushes him off. "The new walk seemed to bring results." The boy follows the girl to her house. He takes her arm and she panics, trying to fend him off. He says "Hey kid, you're going to be my chicken" She shakes her head but he kisses her forcefully. Her father walks down the stairs and threatens the boy, who runs off. He chases his daughter into the flat saying "Pray to be forgiven" They pray together, looking up at a statue of the virgin Mary. He puts his head down, weeping. "Inability to meet new conditions brings untimely death to The Dear Ones father." She stands, hunched, folorn. The boy enters the room, a tear on his cheek. The Dear One looks up to the heavens. The boy looks on as she collapses weeping. Mr Jenkins is sat alone in his study.

The open book. "Out of the cradle endlessly rocking. The comforter, out of Nazareth." "There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. John ii-I. Note. The ceremony according to Sayce, Hastings, Brown and Tissot." A robed figure takes a veil from the face of the bride. "The first sop to the bride." A hand takes a piece from a large bowl of food. He feeds it to the bride, as someone sprinkles their heads with perfume. "Be ye as harmless as doves" a robed man leads a band of followers through an archway. He stands solomnly, robed in white. Doves stand at his feet. The two Pharisees wander past looking at him curiously. "Scorned and rejected of men" He frowns as they cover their faces. He walks forward into a stone room lined with clay pots. "Mary, the mother." Mary, robed, approaches him and he holds her in his arms. The two Pharisees creep up to the house and peer in through the window. There they see Jesus, robed in white, sitting at a table while others drink around him. The Pharisees look nervous. "Meddlers then as now." There is too much revelry and pleasure-seeking among the people" They shake their heads and wander off-"The poor bride and groom suffer great humiliation. The wine has given out." A crowd of people raise their glasses, others tip up empty jars. "The first miracle. The turning of water into wine. Note-wine was deemed a fit offering to God; the drinking of it part of the Jewish religion." Jesus stands, a dark cross fixed as a stain over him. He looks to the heavens. People kneel, looking up at him. In front of them, large pots. He lifts up his hand and the people carry away the pot in awe. His mother Mary goes to him. A bearded man offers the bride and groom wine. They take it and try it nervously. In the centre of the room cloaked figures dance. Jesus looks down peacefully, figures sit at his feet.


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