English intertitles WriterThomas Bailey Aldrich, D. W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods Release dateMarch 8, 1914 (1914-03-08) ProductionAmerican Mutoscope and Biograph Company CastBlanche Sweet (Judith), Henry B. Walthall (Holofernes), Mae Marsh (Naomi), Robert Harron (Nathan), Kate Bruce (Judtih's Maid), Lillian Gish (The Young Mother) Similar moviesThe Hood Samaritan, Leopard Vision Vol.1, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Marching to Zion, Revelation - The Bride, The Beast & Babylon
Judith of bethulia 1914
Judith of Bethulia (1914) is a film starring Blanche Sweet and Henry B. Walthall, and produced and directed by D. W. Griffith, based on the play of the same name by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. The film was the first feature-length film made by pioneering film company Biograph, although the second that Biograph released.
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.
The film is based on the biblical 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 - Judith
Henry B. Walthall - Holofernes
Mae Marsh - Naomi
Robert Harron - Nathan
Lillian Gish - The young mother
Dorothy Gish - The crippled beggar
Kate Bruce - Judith's maid
J. Jiquel Lanoe - Eunuch Attendant
Harry Carey - Assyrian Traitor
W. Chrystie Miller - Bethulian
Charles Hill Mailes - Bethulian Soldier
Gertrude Bambrick - Lead Assyrian Dancer
Lionel Barrymore - Extra
Clara T. Bracy - Bethulian
Kathleen Butler - Bethulian
William J. Butler - Bethulian
William A. Carroll - Assyrian Soldier (as William Carroll)
Frank Evans - Bethulian Soldier
Harry Hyde - Bethulian Soldier/Assyrian Soldier
Jennie Lee - Bethulian
Adolph Lestina - Bethulian
Antonio Moreno - Extra
Frank Opperman - Bethulian
Alfred Paget - Bethulian/Assyrian Soldier
W. C. Robinson - Bethulian Soldier
Kate Toncray - One of Judith's Servants
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."