D.W. Griffith gets biblical (or not, depending on whether you accept the apocrypha) with the story of an Assyrian invasion of Israel and the smokin’ hot widow who decides the best path to victory is to make the enemy general lose his head, literally. Blanche Sweet makes a powerful impression as the titular heroine but the story is Victorianized to minimize her awesomeness. The enemy general is cute and gives her gifts, you see. Sure, he’s looting and pillaging and enslaving but, but, stuff! It seems that sword-wielding patriots still must think with their ovaries. Sigh.
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Judith decapitates her man but then feels bad about it because he was cute, never mind his war crimes. Because a heroine must always be defined by the man in her life and chicks never, ever know what they want. Women, amiright, guys?
If it were a dessert it would be: Artificially-flavored pomegranate candy. Takes everything wonderful about the original and loses it.
Read my full-length review here and see Bobby Harron dressed as a pirate!
Availability: The best edition currently available is the Reelclassicdvd release, which features an excellent custom score by John Mucci. The various bargain editions aren’t worth the discs they’re printed on.
Sounds about as progressive as I’d expect from Griffith 😉 Might give it a peek though, love Blanche Sweet.
Yes, Sweet gives her all in the part. And we should probably be grateful that Griffith managed to get through an entire movie without blackface, so there’s that. 😉
I have always wanted to see this film. Blanche Sweet is a real broad which I mean in the best way. Since I saw her in the documentary “Hollywood”, she just seems someone who would take no guff.
Yes, she’s extremely impressive in the lead. I can’t see any of the other Griffith leading ladies pulling it off.
What do you think of the Mountain Girl from Intolerance? Do you think she falls into the same trap as Griffith’s Judith?
It has been a while since I’ve seen it but I seem to recall that the Mountain Girl is motivated by patriotism and love (non-romantic) for her monarch, which sets her apart from Judith. I actually think that she is one of the stronger female characters in a film that has them play either victims or objects.
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