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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.



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

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Hampden ...
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Sandy Descher ...
Yasmin (as Sandra Descher)
Philip Tonge ...
David Leonard ...
Blind Man


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 (135) »


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




See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 May 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le fils prodigue  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Lana Turner's first movie in CinemaScope. See more »


Samarra: The women in the wheel are the pick of the market. Did you not notice how superb were the haunches of the Grecian woman and how the lips of the Egyptian parted when she looked at any man?
See more »


Referenced in The Story of a Dress (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

The best showcase ever equipped for Turner excellent figure...
19 December 1999 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

Lana Turner was pure magic, emotion and sensation in her long walk through the temple of love... And "The Prodigal" will remain the best showcase ever equipped for her excellent figure... The film is M.G.M.'s entry in the CinemaScope Bible race...

Lana was cast as Samarra, the lightly-clad temptress who incited history's first juvenile delinquent to leave home…

The film was based on the Biblical story of the prodigal son as told by St. Luke in Chapter XV of his gospels… There, in fewer than 300 words is the bare suggestion of a youth who "wasted his substance in riotous living," later to return, repentant to farm and father…

The screenplay portrayed the prodigal as Micah (Edmond Purdom), the model son of a Hebrew patriarch named Eli (Walter Hampden). As the film begins he has honored his father by becoming engaged to Ruth (Audrey Dalton), a gentle girl of his own faith…

While visiting Damascus, however, the youth enters the tent of Samarra, the high priestess of Astarte, goddess of the flesh, and he is dazzled by her beauty… To his father's bitter dismay, he demands his share of the family fortune, leaves his fiancée on the eve of their marriage, and goes off to the city in pursuit of the pagan woman, whose duties include presiding over human sacrificial rites…

Among the fleshpots of Damascus, Micah's uncontrollable infatuation for the priestess plunges him into a variety of mishaps… He is victimized by Nahreeb (Louis Calhern), the sinister high priest of Baal, who conspires to destroy him for his irreverent interest in Samarra; by Bosra (Francis L. Sullivan), an unscrupulous moneylender; and even by Samarra herself, who withholds her love until he produces a certain valuable pearl as a gift for her goddess…

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