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The Godless Girl (1929)

Passed  -  Drama  -  31 March 1929 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 445 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 6 critic

Two teenagers, one an atheist and the other a Christian, fall in love at a brutal reform school.

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Title: The Godless Girl (1929)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Judy Craig - The Girl
...
Mame - The Other Girl
Tom Keene ...
Bob Hathaway - The Boy (as George Duryea)
...
The Brute
Eddie Quillan ...
Samuel 'Bozo' Johnson - The Goat
Mary Jane Irving ...
The Victim
Clarence Burton ...
Prison Guard
Richard Alexander ...
Prison Guard (as Dick Alexander)
Kate Price ...
Prison Matron
Hedwiga Reicher ...
Prison Matron (as Hedwig Reicher)
...
Inmate
Viola Louie ...
Inmate
Emily Barrye ...
Inmate
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Storyline

High school students led by the Girl and Boy turn from Christianity toward secret atheistic meetings. When a girl is accidentally killed by a stairway collapse, the Girl and Boy go to reform school where they are treated brutally. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atheist  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System) (talking sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the fire scene, dozens of female extras playing inmates had to shimmy down the two-story exterior set of the reformatory. The set would be on fire and it was only a matter of time before the whole thing was consumed by flames. According to a cameraman, at least three young women did not leave the roof fast enough, and were badly burned. See more »

Quotes

Opening Title Card: [first card] It is not generally known that there are Atheist Societies using the schools of the country as their battle-ground - attacking, through the Youth of the Nation, the beliefs that are sacred to most of the people.
Opening Title Card: [second card] And no fanatics are so bitter as youthful fanatics.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Unique Film
8 February 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Godless Girl, The (1929)

*** (out of 4)

This here turned out to be DeMille final silent as well as his first sound film. Apparently the movie was shot completely silent but after filming and sound films had become popular, they went back and added a dialogue sequence but the version I watched, from Photoplay, doesn't have that sequence in it. The film is about two teens: Judy (Lina Basquette) a hard boiled Atheist and Bob (Tom Keene) a boy who believes in nothing but the Bible. Judy has a crush on him but he doesn't know it, which leads him and a gang of Christian to break into her meeting. A riot breaks out and an Atheist girl is killed so Judy, Bob and another kid end up at a reform school where they are abused by the evil guard (Noah Beery). Soon both Judy and Bob are rethinking what they believed when they entered the reformatory. This is a rather strange and bizarre film that's main goal is to preach intolerance but along the way we get all sorts of strange stuff from campy anti-God speeches to brutal violence against kids and then transforming into a tender love story. The movie starts to wear out its welcome in the final act but this remains a strange little film that is so well-told that even though who don't like silents would probably enjoy it. The first part of the film, involving the Christian and Atheist gangs, is rather campy because of how much the two sides are going after one another. Even though it comes off campy it leads to one of the most dramatic and rather beautiful scenes I've seen from any silent and that's where the girl, an Atheist, is afraid to die because she doesn't know what's next. She mentions she's afraid to be alone and a policeman tells her something, that I won't ruin, which comes off so tender that you somewhat feel bad for laughing at some stuff that happened before it. When the prison drama sets in we get some pretty strong violence, which is pure DeMille pulp. Beery is downright evil in his role and is a lot of fun to watch. Basquette, who apparently received a letter from an unknown Hitler after making this film, is very good in her role and really carries this thing from start to finish. Keene, probably best known today for his role in Plan 9 From Outer Space is very good as well. While this film isn't a complete success it remains a very entertaining one that manages to get its point across mainly because it beats the viewer over the head with a Bible. I don't like that much preaching in movies but whoever said DeMille would hold back when wanting to get a message across?


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