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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 1,379 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:

 »
Edit

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

Since Cecil B. DeMille's previous few films had been box-office failures, he agreed to work on this project at a drastically lowered salary and with a tighter budget than seemed reasonable at the time. Mitchell Leisen and production manager Roy Burns were the only collaborators he was allowed to keep on, and they also worked at reduced salaries. Paramount assigned Alexander Hall to edit the film, but DeMille was able to get him replaced by his regular editor, Anne Bauchens. See more »

Goofs

In the Coliseum, we see a woman tied up and is at the mercy of a gorilla. Europeans had no knowledge of gorillas' existence until more than 15 centuries later. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Quo Vadis (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Ancaria's Song and Dance (The Naked Moon)
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Rudolph G. Kopp
Lyrics by Sidney Buchman
Played at the orgy and danced and sung by Joyzelle Joyner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lesbian Moon Dance
10 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This 1932 Classic film took me by complete surprise with its down to earth depictions of how the early Christians suffered for their faith at the hands of the Roman Empire. These Christians suffered by lions chewing them up, or tigers and even alligators having them for a full course dinner and even Pigmy's got into the act. Nero was played by a very young Charles Laughton who acted just like I would imagine Nero really was as a person, nuts. Feredric March, (Marcus Superbus) was Nero's right hand man and hunted down Christians for the arena until he comes face to face with Mercia (Elissa Landi) a beautiful Christian girl. Claudetter Colbert,(Empress Poppaea) is Nero's Empress and is deeply in love with Marcus and finds this Christian girl Mercia a thorn in her side, so to speak. Marcus brings Mercia to his palace in order to seduce her and she will have no part in pleasing Marcus sexually, so he gets mad and has one of his harlots dance around Mercia in a sort of sexual Lesbian dance called the "Moon Dance" where she tries to seduce this girl in front of an audience. It is hard for me to believe this film was made in 1932 and was not censored from being shown. If you want to see a great gem of a Classic film, this is definitely the film for you.


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