Society-girl thrill seeker Lydia causes the death of motorcycle policeman and is prosecuted by her fiancé Daniel who describes in lurid detail the downfall of Rome. While she's in prison she reforms and Daniel becomes a wasted alcoholic.
The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy ... See full summary »
Cecil B. DeMille
Charles de Rochefort,
Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Kerry falls in love with Amy and saves her life in a surfboard race though his foot is bitten by a shark. Dr. Lansell tells him to keep off his foot for a year. He weds Amy, but Dr. Lansell's wife Bertha wants him too.
Michael Ramsay only has time for gathering his fortune in wheat. His wife seeks comfort elsewhere and, to avoid a scandal, her daughter Matilda assumes her mother's guilt. Ramsay nearly goes broke but gets rich again; his wife returns.
Lydia Thorne, a wealthy girl who loves speed and thrills, is unsympathetic when Evans, her maid, is jailed for stealing her jewels. District Attorney Daniel O'Bannon visits Lydia to make her see the error of her own ways, but instead views a scene of Lydia and her friends that reminds him of a Roman orgy. O'Bannon feels it is his duty, therefore, to send Lydia to jail for her own good when her automobile driving causes the death of a motorcycle policeman. Lydia is resentful, and her rebuff of O'Bannon, who has come to love her, causes him such remorse that he turns to drink and dissipation. Meanwhile, Lydia reforms, realizes she loves O'Bannon, and resolves to do charitable work. She and Evans open a soup kitchen after their release, and a chance meeting with O'Bannon starts him on the road to recovery. With Lydia's encouragement he becomes himself again, runs for governor, but withdraws his candidacy to marry Lydia when he sees that her record would be a liability to him in politics. Written by
Leatrice Joy triumphs in this highly moral, but still decadent, DeMille delight!
The greatest pleasure of this fun DeMille classic is the sublime performance of the radiant Leatrice Joy. From the great opening shot, of her speeding along in her roadster, to the final clinch, she eats up the screen with her energy and, dare I say it, joy of living! Joy was more than just a substitute for Gloria Swanson in DeMille's films - she brought a different sort of vigour to her roles, a true Jazz Age energy that Clara Bow would later build upon. She is certainly an actress that deserves to be re-discovered.
The story, of a shallow fun-loving rich girl discovering that the true meaning of life is service to others, is rather too moral to be taken seriously - especially as DeMille can't help creating two completely gratuitous, but highly enjoyable, "flash-backs" to Ancient Rome, featuring wild orgies (and even a lesbian kiss!!). It's the usual clash between DeMille's fascination with sex and sado-masochism and his need to moralise against such things.
It all adds up to a visually stunning entertainment. Don't miss it!
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