IMDb > The Sign of the Cross (1932)
The Sign of the Cross
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The Sign of the Cross (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   1,324 votes »
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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Waldemar Young (screen play) and
Sidney Buchman (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Sign of the Cross on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 February 1933 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A picture which will proudly lead all the entertainments the world has ever seen
Plot:
A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Wonderful film See more (55 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fredric March ... Marcus

Elissa Landi ... Mercia

Claudette Colbert ... Poppaea

Charles Laughton ... Nero
Ian Keith ... Tigellinus
Arthur Hohl ... Titus
Harry Beresford ... Favius
Tommy Conlon ... Stephan
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Glabrio
Vivian Tobin ... Dacia
William V. Mong ... Licinius
Joyzelle Joyner ... Ancaria (as Joyzelle)
Richard Alexander ... Viturius

Nat Pendleton ... Strabo
Clarence Burton ... Servillius
Harold Healy ... Tybul
Robert Seiter ... Philodemus (as Robert Manning)

Charles Middleton ... Tyros
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joel Allen ... Bombadier (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)

Mischa Auer ... Christian in Dungeon (uncredited)
Lionel Belmore ... Bettor of 300 Silver (uncredited)
True Boardman ... Nero's Slave (uncredited)
Marjorie Bonner ... Roman Woman (uncredited)
Joe Bonomo ... Mute Torturer (uncredited)

Henry Brandon ... Colosseum Spectator (uncredited)
George Bruggeman ... Nero's Slave (uncredited)
Horace B. Carpenter ... (uncredited)

John Carradine ... Christian Martyr / Gladiator Leader / Voice in Coliseum Mob (uncredited)
Lane Chandler ... Chained Christian (uncredited)

Ruth Clifford ... Christian Mother at Meeting (uncredited)
William Forrest ... Col. Hugh Mason (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)
Wynne Gibson ... Orgy Guest (uncredited)
Dorothy Granger ... (uncredited)
Carol Holloway ... (uncredited)
John James ... Lt. Herb Hanson (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)
Otto Lederer ... (uncredited)
Lillian Leighton ... Woman Getting Gold for Cup (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Enthusiastic Spectator (uncredited)
Wilfred Lucas ... (uncredited)
James Millican ... Capt. Kevin Driscoll - (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)
Gertrude Norman ... Christian (uncredited)
Wedgwood Nowell ... Man Accepting 300 Silver Bet (uncredited)
Dave O'Brien ... Christian on Stairway (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Man Who Heard Lions All Morning (uncredited)
Hal Price ... Spectator (uncredited)
Sally Rand ... Crocodiles' Victim (uncredited)
Tom Ricketts ... Sleeping Spectator (uncredited)
Stanley Ridges ... Chaplain Lloyd (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)
Angelo Rossitto ... Impaled Pygmy (uncredited)
Ynez Seabury ... Little Girl (uncredited)
Arthur Shields ... Chaplain Costello (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)
Jerome Storm ... (uncredited)
Kent Taylor ... Romantic Spectator (uncredited)
Oliver Thorndike ... Lt. Robert Hammond (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)
Tom Tully ... Hoboken (1944 Re-Release Prologue) (uncredited)
Florence Turner ... Christian (uncredited)
Ethel Wales ... Complaining Wife (uncredited)

Directed by
Cecil B. DeMille  (as Cecil B. De Mille)
 
Writing credits
Waldemar Young (screen play) and
Sidney Buchman (screen play)

Wilson Barrett (from the play by)

Dudley Nichols  1944 prologue (uncredited)
Henryk Sienkiewicz  novel "Quo Vadis" (uncredited source)

Produced by
Cecil B. DeMille .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Jay Chernis (uncredited)
Rudolph G. Kopp (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Karl Struss (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Anne Bauchens (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Mitchell Leisen (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Mitchell Leisen (costumes by)
 
Production Management
Roy Burns .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mitchell Leisen .... assistant director (uncredited)
Edward Salven .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Mitchell Leisen .... art director: 1944 prologue (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Treg Brown .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Harry Lindgren .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
George T. Clemens .... camera operator (uncredited)
Otto Dyar .... still photographer (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Fleet Southcott .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
William E. Thomas .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Gemora .... gorilla costume creator (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Nat W. Finston .... music supervisor (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator: prologue (1944 re-release ) (uncredited)
Victor Young .... composer: prologue (1944 re-release ) (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Chester Seay .... archery instructor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Paramount Pictures (presents) (as Paramount Publix Corporation) (Cecil B. De Mille's Production)
Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
West Germany:108 min | 122 min (without intermission)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Norway:16 (1947) | Singapore:NC16 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #1581-R, 23 September 1935 for re-release) | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In this film, Charles Laughton plays the Roman emperor Nero. In the unfinished I, Claudius (1937) he played Claudius, Nero's great-uncle, stepfather, and predecessor.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Nero's pet dogs are two Arabian Salukis, one of the few modern breeds that can trace its lineage to ancient times. However, that particular breed was unknown in Europe until the 12th Century, when returning Crusaders introduced them for the first time.See more »
Quotes:
Emperor Nero:My head is splitting... the wine last night, the music... the delicious debauchery!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Christian Hymn No.1See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Wonderful film, 16 March 2004
Author: GlLee from United States

First, this film is high camp. One need only know some of the backstage events to know that all the actors had a great deal of fun in making the film. March tells in his biography that Claudette Colbert spurned his attempts to flirt by chewing several garlic cloves before each close up between the two of them. The famed Chicago World's Fair fan dancer Sally Rand has an uncredited role (according to her family members) as the woman who is about to have her head bitten off by an alligator near the end. There is a close up of Sally's face. With such goings-on, what's not to like here?

I found Fredric March as Marcus Superbus (the Prefect of Rome and man upon whom Empress Poppea has her eyes) convincingly full of himself through the first three quarters of the film. He shows a believable change of heart towards the end. Colbert is charmingly over-the-top as Poppea, as is Charles Laughton, who plays Nero. The ingenue Christian girl, Mercia, is played with restraint by Elissa Landi. While this may make her seem to be overshadowed by Colbert, Marcus states that he is "tired" of overpowering patrician women and, thus, Landi's cool understatement entrances him.

Despite the violence, which is standard fare in tales about early Christians in Rome, there are moments of good acting, not only by the main characters, but by the bit players. Some of the group scenes and interactions among the Christians as they await the arena are well-played, indeed.

There is nothing to dismiss here. At very least, the film is worth a viewing as a landmark epic sporting some of the Hollywood elite of the mid-1930s.

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