D.W. Griffith's epic intercuts between four separate stories about man's inhumanity to man. In Babylon, pacifist Prince Belshazzar is brought down by warring religious factions. In Judea, the last days of Christ (Howard Gaye) are depicted in the style of a Passion play. In France, Catherine de Medici presides over the slaughter of the Huguenots. And in California, a woman (Mae Marsh) pleads for the life of her husband (Robert Harron) when he is sentenced to hang for a murder he did not commit.