D.W. Griffith fuses Thomas Bailey Aldrich's long poem of Judith's story with its basis in the Apocrypha to derive this somewhat austere and powerful film of the widow's noble sacrifice to save her besieged city and its inhabitants from an invading Assyrian army, led by Holofernes. With JUDITH as Griffith's first feature length effort, he turns away from the commercial needs of the Biograph Company, the management of which desires to maintain its policy of making only one and two reelers, and his expenditure of $36000 is double the amount budgeted, reflecting his expanded use of sets and extras and providing the requisite exercise in preparation for his next major work: BIRTH OF A NATION, made as a free agent. Eighteen year old Blanche Sweet's performance is striking as she utilizes all of her wide range of expressivity, uncommon in one so young, to mirror the emotions of a woman who is physically attracted to a man, Henry Walthall as Holofernes, toward whom her only possible final act will be his death by her hand, as depicted in many a well-known painting. The supporting cast serves the sparsely titled production well, with emotional performances from Mae Marsh and Robert Harron as endangered lovers, and among the many bit players who animate the work may be seen Lionel Barrymore, Harry Carey, Antonio Moreno and Lillian and Dorothy Gish as victims of the invaders. This version is the four reeler rather than the one of six reels released later and is Griffith's answer to the full-length epics which were being imported from Europe; its release was delayed a year by Biograph to ensure that the director had left its employ, but this brought scant gain to the company: Biograph was soon defunct, while Griffith's star was rising.