one of the best silent films of all-time and ditto that for sci-fi films. it’s got some of the best sets you’ll see in any film, especially considering the time period. when i think of great art direction, i think of anton grot’s work which is somewhat interesting because there was a character in this film named “grot.” must have been a coincidence because grot only had a few films to his credit when this film was made.
there’s a lot to say about the film which usually means i won’t say much. there are all sorts of biblical and other references in the film. the tower of babel, marxian class struggles, pied piper, etc. i saw the 123 minute, 2002 75th anniversary restored version, which felt longer than the version i had seen before. i don’t know what was added in this version. that’s one thing about these older films with multiple prints that lack a definitive version – you always end up with several permutations of the film. you feel bad when you don’t see the version that has all 210 minutes, but you are also left wondering exactly how the director wanted the film to be seen.
one could call the film didactic, but i wouldn’t. modern times is a similar film which may as well be seen afterwards.Watched on TV