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Judith of Bethulia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Judith of Bethulia
Directed byD. W. Griffith
Written byThomas Bailey Aldrich
D. W. Griffith
Frank E. Woods
StarringBlanche Sweet
Henry B. Walthall
CinematographyG. W. Bitzer
Edited byJames Smith
Distributed byGeneral Film Company
Release date
  • March 8, 1914 (1914-03-08)
Running time
61 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguagesSilent film
English intertitles
Judith of Bethulia

Judith of Bethulia (1914) is an American film starring Blanche Sweet and Henry B. Walthall, and produced and directed by D. W. Griffith, based on the play "Judith and the Holofernes" (1896) by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, which itself was an adaptation of the Book of Judith. The film was the first feature-length film made by pioneering film company Biograph, although the second that Biograph released.[1][2]

Shortly after its completion and a disagreement Griffith had with Biograph executives on making more future feature-length films, Griffith left Biograph, and took the entire stock company with him. Biograph delayed the picture's release until 1914, after Griffith's departure, so that it would not have to pay him in a profit-sharing agreement they had.

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The film is based on the deuterocanonical Book of Judith. During the siege of the Jewish city of Bethulia by the Assyrians, a widow named Judith (Blanche Sweet) has a plan to stop the war as her people suffer starvation and are ready to surrender.

The widow disguises herself as a harem girl and goes to the enemy camp, where she beguiles a general of King Nebuchadnezzar, whose army is besieging the city. Judith seduces Holofernes (Henry Walthall), then while he is drunk cuts off his head with a sabre. She returns to her city, a heroine.


Blanche Sweet as Judith


The reviews were favorable: Variety, March 27, 1914, wrote: "It is not easy to confess one's self unequal to a given task, but to pen an adequate description of the Biograph's production of Judith of Bethulia is, to say the least, a full grown man's job."

The Moving Picture World, March 7, 1914, described it as: "A fascinating work of high artistry, Judith of Bethulia will not only rank as an achievement in this country, but will make foreign producers sit up and take notice."[3]

See also


External links

This page was last edited on 26 February 2023, at 19:17
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