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The Sign of the Cross (1932)

Passed  |   |  Drama, History  |  10 February 1933 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,391 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 14 critic

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director:

(as Cecil B. De Mille)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Sign of the Cross (1932)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ian Keith ...
Arthur Hohl ...
Titus
Harry Beresford ...
Favius
Tommy Conlon ...
Stephan
Ferdinand Gottschalk ...
Vivian Tobin ...
William V. Mong ...
Licinius
Joyzelle Joyner ...
Ancaria (as Joyzelle)
Richard Alexander ...
Viturius
...
Strabo
Clarence Burton ...
Servillius
Edit

Storyline

After burning Rome, Emperor Nero decides to blame the Christians, and issues the edict that they are all to be caught and sent to the arena. Two old Christians are caught, and about to be hauled off, when Marcus, the highest military official in Rome, comes upon them. When he sees their stepdaughter Mercia, he instantly falls in love with her and frees them. Marcus pursues Mercia, which gets him into trouble with Emperor (for being easy on Christians) and with the Empress, who loves him and is jealous. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nero | soldier | empress | arena | cat | See All (68) »

Taglines:

A picture which will proudly lead all the entertainments the world has ever seen

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 February 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Zeichen des Kreuzes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(without intermission)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Fredric March said of co-star Claudette Colbert, "She was a hot woman in [the film]--a hot, hot woman! When she worked herself up, she put Marilyn [Marilyn Monroe], Jean [Jean Harlow], Ava [Ava Gardner], Kim [Kim Novak], all of them in the shade." See more »

Goofs

As the Christians are holding their clandestine meeting at the Grove, right before the little girl asks her mother "Why don't they sing loud?", the shadow of the boom mic can be seen hovering over the people in the background. See more »

Quotes

Emperor Nero: My head is splitting... the wine last night, the music... the delicious debauchery!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Passion: Films, Faith & Fury (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Christian Hymn No.1
(1932) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Rudolph G. Kopp
Sung a cappella by Christians at the meeting
Reprised by them after their capture and at the arena
Sung a cappella by Elissa Landi and Tommy Conlon
Played and sung offscreen at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

The earlier "Sign of the Cross"
1 December 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"The Sign of the Cross" was originally a play by Wilson Barrett, who had bought the English rights to "Quo Vadis" from Henrik Sienkiewicz and shortened and simplified the plot. My great-grandfather William Haggar's theatrical company performed the play in the 1890s, changing the title to "The Shadow of the Cross" to avoid having to pay a copyright fee of £3 3s. per performance. When William went into making films to show to his own audiences on the fairgrounds, after three years of gradually lengthening films, in 1904 he made "The Sign of the Cross", in an epic 700 feet (lasting about 11 minutes), which A.C. Bromhead, the founder of Gaumont-GB, later recalled, in a lecture to the British Kinematograph Society, amazed everyone by its length. William's film was then duped and shown in the USA in 1905 by Sigmund Lubin. For a biography of William Haggar and more details of his film career, see my book, "William Haggar, fairground film-maker", to be published in May 2007 by Accent Press Ltd., and visit www.williamhaggar.co.uk


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