Civilization (Silent)

Thomas H. Ince's anti-war silent classic, in which Jesus Christ is resurrected in the midst of the First World War.
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 8069D
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Civilization for $14.50

DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 25 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: May 15, 2018
  • Originally Released: 1916
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Directed by &

Entertainment Reviews:


User Ratings: 12
There is very little opportunity to criticise Ince's magnificent effort, but Sulivan's captions are altogether too preachy. In his effort to project pathos he slops over into bathos. Full Review
Mar 26, 2009
Despite its scenery-tearing silent-movie acting style, ''Civilization's'' compassion and sweep assure its place as a classic of early movie making on a big scale. Full Review
New York Times
Mar 25, 2006

Description by

In a distant land, inventor Count Ferdinand develops a new submarine that can cause unprecedented death and destruction. He is ordered by a militant King to use it to wage war upon an unsuspecting country. During preparations, the Count meets and falls in love with a saintly Red Cross worker, who preaches the cause of peace. When it comes time for Ferdinand to fire on a passenger ship, he cannot do it. He chooses to drown himself rather than take an innocent life. Near death, Ferdinand has a vision of the afterworld...and the Prince of Peace himself, Jesus Christ. The Count suddenly jolts back to life, but now his body is merely a vessel for the soul of Christ. Walking the Earth again after centuries, the Son of God vows to end all war and bring peace to long last.

With a scale comparable to the big-budget epics of D.W. Griffith, Civilization is by far the most towering achievement of pioneering film producer Thomas H. Ince. The story was conceived by screenwriter C. Gardner Sullivan as a polemic to those who believed America should involve itself in the world war currently raging through Europe. Ships from the U.S. Navy were used to demonstrate "the modern menace of submarine warfare." The film's use of Jesus Christ was controversial; at the time, Christ was hardly (if ever) depicted on screen. (Though surely the scene of Jesus striding across the battlefield is the film's most iconic image.) Released on June 2, 1916, Civilization was a sensation among theatergoers, and its success was dubbed instrumental in the reelection of Woodrow Wilson, who ran on an anti-war platform. Ironically, when Wilson finally chose to enter World War I in April 1917, Civilization was quickly pulled from theaters.

This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 21,503
  • UPC: 089218806994
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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