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The Sign of the Cross (1932)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History  |  10 February 1933 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,410 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 15 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:

Not Rated | 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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fredric March was "hit on" by Charles Laughton, who most people in the film business knew was gay, during the filming of this picture. March recalled to writer Lawrence Quirk that Laughton always made him very nervous and uncomfortable, especially when he used to try to look up his toga. 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

[the Empress, soaking naked in a tub of ass's milk and calling to her handmaiden]
Poppaea: Dacia, you're a butterfly with the sting of a wasp. Take off your clothes. Get in here and tell me all about it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Cecil B. DeMille (1962) 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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