Select Page

Griffith’s first feature-length film and the last film he directed for Biograph.  An early Biblical epic, based on an episode from The Apocrypha.  The Assyrians lay siege to Bethulia, a walled city, cutting the inhabitants off from their food and water supply.  A religiously devout widow travels to the encampment of Holofernes, the Assyrian general, to seduce and slay him.  The best part of the film is Blanche Sweet’s transition from saintly widow to vamp and back again.  She is a master of the silent movie idiom, expressing every conflicted emotion as she is torn between loving and hating Holofernes, shocking herself by her willingness to love him, surprising herself by her role as seductress and murderess.  The film has a certain amateurish verve as the armies run to and fro, wildly gesticulating.  It was destined to be a few more years, however, before filmmakers realized how to convincingly show large military forces clashing on the big screen.