Four stories demonstrate human cruelty and hypocrisy. They are the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, the life of Jesus, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, and a modern young husband who is framed for crimes.
A cradle rocks. Reforming women appeal to mine-owner Arthur Jenkins (Sam De Grasse).
In 1572 Catholics in France are favored over the Protestant Huguenots.
Arthur gives Mary T. Jenkins (Vera Lewis) a check to uplift humanity.
In 539 BC Babylon the rhapsode (Elmer Clifton) tries to woo the mountain girl (Constance Talmadge), who is sentenced to a marriage market.
Jenkins cuts wages by ten percent, and workers strike. The national guard shoots at them, and the father of the boy (Robert Harron) is killed.
Mountain girl is being auctioned but bows to Prince Belshazzar (Alfred Paget), who gives her freedom. She rejects the Rhapsode.
The boy meets the dear one (Mae Marsh) and hugs her. Her father (Fred Turner) scolds her, but he dies.
At a Cana wedding Jesus (Howard Gaye) makes wine.
The dear one won't let the boy in her room. So he asks her to marry, and they kiss.
Jesus prevents a woman from being stoned for adultery.
Uplifters have police arrest younger women. The dear one persuades the boy to give up his gun, but he is framed and imprisoned.
The High Priest of Bel (Tully Marshall) prophesies the downfall of Babylon because the Persian Cyrus is his ally.
The dear one has a baby. When she has a cold and gets whiskey, the uplifters say she is a bad mother and get a warrant for the baby. The dear one tries to resist, but she is thrown down. She goes to see her baby.
Catherine de Medici (Josephine Crowell) recalls Huguenot atrocities.
Cyrus attacks Babylon, and the mountain girl fights for Babylon. Both sides pray for victory. Large towers move against the walls, but Babylonians use an engine to burn the Persian towers.
The boy comes home to the dear one.
Babylonians thank Ishtar and celebrate. The High Priest tells the rhapsode to get chariots. The mountain girl distracts him, and he tells her the password.
Catherine urges King Charles IX to persecute the Huguenots, and he orders them all killed on St. Bartholomew's Day.
The mountain girl goes with the chariots to Cyrus.
The musketeer (Walter Long) of the slums promises the dear one that he will get her baby for her. He tries to kiss her. The boy comes in and fights him. The jealous friendless one (Miriam Cooper) shoots the musketeer from the window. The boy picks up the gun, and police arrest him. In his trial he denies he did it, but he is sentenced to be hanged. The local cop visits the dear one and goes to the Governor.
Babylonian priests help Cyrus.
The dear one goes to the Governor.
Huguenots are killed.
The cop sees the friendless one, and she admits she killed the musketeer. They go after the Governor in a car.
The mountain girl tries to warn Prince Belshazzar that Cyrus is advancing.
Prosper Latour (Eugene Pallette) rescues Brown Eyes (Margery Wilson) from French soldiers.
Their car stops the train to tell the Governor.
Prosper finds that Brown Eyes is dead, and he is killed.
The mountain girl warns Prince Belshazzar as the Persians enter the opened gates. Belshazzar is put back on his throne.
A phone call and a message from the Governor prevents the hanging of the boy, who embraces the dear one.
This ambitious epic takes on an important theme, but
the four stories are only generally related to religious hypocrisy
and the unintended suffering it can cause. The extraordinary costs
and profits made indicate that motion pictures have matured into
a huge business. The portrayal of sex, violence, and human pathos
can sell millions of tickets.