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The Prodigal (1955)

| Drama | 6 May 1955 (USA)
A wealthy young Hebrew traveling in Damascus renounces his faith after he is seduced by an alluring pagan priestess and cheated of his fortune by the High Priest as well.

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Writers:

(adaptation) (as Joe Breen Jr.), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Samarra
...
...
Nahreeb
...
Ruth
...
Asham
...
Rhakim
Walter Hampden ...
Eli
Taina Elg ...
Elissa
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Bosra
...
Carmish
...
Joram
Sandy Descher ...
Yasmin (as Sandra Descher)
...
Governor
Philip Tonge ...
Barber-Surgeon
David Leonard ...
Blind Man
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Storyline

A young Hebrew named Micah, unsatisfied with his father's rural life, demands his inheritance so he can try his luck in the city. Once in the city he falls under the spell of a beautiful pagan priestess who induces him to squander his money and betray his faith. Only after many trials and tribulations does Micah recover his senses and return home to his forgiving father. Written by dinky-4

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

priestess | hebrew | pagan | faith | money | See All (134) »

Taglines:

Two Years In The Making! A Fortune To Produce! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le fils prodigue  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ava Gardner and Vittorio Gassman were originally cast as Edmund Purdom's co-stars. See more »

Quotes

Nahreeb: Damacus has dealt generously with you. Even your slave has a slave.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Lana Turner... a Daughter's Memoir (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE PRODIGAL (Richard Thorpe, 1955) **
17 January 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

When I attended religious doctrine classes as a kid, the parable of The Prodigal Son was always my favorite; however, I never visualized it quite like it is depicted in this film – but that's Hollywood for you! Actually, I hadn't intended to watch it just now (being ideal Good Friday fare) but it was the only handy vehicle I owned featuring star Edmund Purdom, who passed away on New Year's Day. Anyway, considering the maligned reputation of THE SILVER CHALICE (1954) – which I caught recently, coincidentally in tribute to its own leading man, Paul Newman – I must admit that I found this an even lesser (and duller) Biblical outing! True, Christ's parable does not provide much detail of the hero's experiences after he leaves his Hebrew hometown for another (Pagan) city…but what we have here is among the lamest and most stodgily presented trips along the wayward path this side of Cecil B. De Mille (being closest in theme to his SAMSON AND DELILAH [1949])! Though the supporting cast looks mighty impressive on paper (including two from THE SILVER CHALICE itself, namely Joseph Wiseman and Walter Hampden) – Neville Brand, Louis Calhern, Paul Cavanaugh, Henry Daniell, John Dehner, Cecil Kellaway and Francis L. Sullivan – the participants are either given little to do or embarrassed by their unwieldy costumes and unflattering make-up (especially Brand's, making him look like a 20th century wrestler!). Of course, while the film purports to tell Purdom's tale, MGM saw fit to give top billing to their resident alluring star Lana Turner but, needless to say, this type of role did nothing to her career and she was probably happy to throw herself into "women's pictures" thereafter. However, perhaps the film's biggest fault is the fact that the film-makers thought it imperative to include such incongruous scenes as Purdom hilariously grappling with a fake voracious buzzard and the spectacular action-packed finale which totally subverts Christ's message, in that the hero is seen returning home humbled (so as to conform with the original text) when truly he should have flaunted the victory of his God over the rampant Paganism in Damascus!


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