The Fall of Babylon

Watch The Fall of Babylon

  • NR
  • 1921
  • 1 hr 22 min
  • 6.7  (180)

The Fall of Babylon is a 1919 historical drama film directed by D.W. Griffith, known for his epic productions that spanned decades. The film depicts the fall of the city of Babylon in the sixth century B.C.E, and is loosely based on the biblical story of the Tower of Babel and the conquest of Babylon by the Persian king Cyrus the Great.

The movie stars Constance Talmadge as the queen of Babylon, Belshazzar's wife, who falls in love with Cyrus (played by William S. Hart), the conqueror of Babylon. The tension between the two empires is palpable from the beginning. The film does not shy away from the conflict between the Babylonians and the Persians, showing scenes of battle and conquest that paint a gruesome picture of warfare at the time.

The film opens with the lavish and opulent life of Belshazzar, the ruler of Babylon. The setting is extravagant, with large buildings, gorgeous costumes, and a lavish lifestyle. This atmosphere is contrasted with the Persian Empire, which is portrayed as an austere, disciplined and militaristic society. The Persian characters are shown wearing plain, unpractical clothes, and are represented as disciplined, noble, and virtuous.

As the story builds up, the narrative turns to the conflicts between Babylon and Persia, and the political maneuvering that led to the downfall of Babylon. The drama depicts the decline of Babylon as the result of its own greed, corruption, and moral decay. Belshazzar is shown as a weak, selfish, and corrupted ruler, obsessed with his own pleasure and oblivious to the needs of his people, who ultimately must pay the price for his mistakes.

The conflict between Babylon and Persia comes to a head when Cyrus leads his army to conquer the powerful city. The climax of the film is breathtaking, with the depiction of the siege of Babylon and the eventual fall of the city. The fight sequences are stunning and violent, and they leave a lasting impression on the viewer. The film manages to convey the brutality of wars and its impact on civilians, namely through a poignant scene where the Persians destroy the gardens of Babylon, a symbol of the city's wealth and prosperity.

The movie's visuals are its greatest strength, with impressive set pieces and costumes that were ahead of their time for the era. Griffith and his team of artists and artisans created intricate and realistic sets which have become a hallmark of Griffith's work. The director used thousands of extras, as well as elephants and horses, to recreate the battles between the armies of Babylon and Persia.

An interesting point is how the cinematography and editing techniques bring new dimensions to the storytelling. The movie features imaginative double exposure scenes, which blend the past and the present, the real and the mystical, and create an ethereal atmosphere that conveys the spiritual significance of the story.

In terms of acting, the cast delivers solid performances, with Tully Marshall playing the role of Belshazzar to perfection. His character is a complex mix of arrogance and insecurity, a ruler who knows that his power is slipping away and tries desperately to hold on to it. Constance Talmadge shines as the queen of Babylon, adding grace and depth to a character that could have easily become two-dimensional. William S. Hart delivers a strong portrayal of the conqueror Cyrus, playing him with gravitas and authority.

Overall, The Fall of Babylon is a stunning spectacle that showcases the cinematic achievements of the early 20th century. The movie features an engaging plot, great performances, and groundbreaking visual effects that create a timeless masterpiece. The film offers an intriguing interpretation of history, and it does so with great imagination and artistic flair. Although the movie was released over a century ago, it still manages to captivate the audience with its epic scale, vivid imagery, and immersive storytelling.

The Fall of Babylon is a 1921 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 22 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

The Fall of Babylon
Where to Watch The Fall of Babylon
The Fall of Babylon is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Amazon Prime. Some platforms allow you to rent The Fall of Babylon for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 22 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (180)