IMDb > The Prodigal (1955)
The Prodigal
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The Prodigal (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Joseph Breen (adaptation) and
Samuel James Larsen (adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Prodigal on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 May 1955 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A wealthy young Hebrew traveling in Damascus renounces his faith after is seduced by an alluring pagan priestess and cheated of his fortune by the High Priest as well. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
Actor Purdom Dies
 (From WENN. 3 January 2009, 5:54 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
All the juicy bits the Bible left out! See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lana Turner ... Samarra
Edmund Purdom ... Micah

Louis Calhern ... Nahreeb

Audrey Dalton ... Ruth

James Mitchell ... Asham

Neville Brand ... Rhakim
Walter Hampden ... Eli
Taina Elg ... Elissa
Francis L. Sullivan ... Bosra

Joseph Wiseman ... Carmish

John Dehner ... Joram
Sandy Descher ... Yasmin (as Sandra Descher)

Cecil Kellaway ... Governor
Philip Tonge ... Barber-Surgeon
David Leonard ... Blind Man

Henry Daniell ... Ramadi
Paul Cavanagh ... Tobiah
Dayton Lummis ... Caleb
Tracey Roberts ... Tahra
Jarma Lewis ... Uba
Jay Novello ... Merchant

Dorothy Adams ... Carpenter's Wife
Peter DeBear ... Carpenter's Son
Phyllis Graffeo ... Miriam
Patricia Iannone ... Deborah
Eugene Mazzola ... David
George Sawaya ... Kavak
Richard Devon ... Risafe
Ann Cameron ... Lahla
Gloria Dea ... Faradine
John Rosser ... Lirhan
Charles Wagenheim ... Zubeir
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jessie Arnold ... Bit Role (uncredited)
David Bond ... Crier (uncredited)

Argentina Brunetti ... Woman (uncredited)
Paul Bryar ... Townsman (uncredited)
Zev Bufman ... Worshipper (uncredited)

Larry Chance ... Bit Role (uncredited)
John Cliff ... Guard (uncredited)
Booth Colman ... Barber (uncredited)
Willa Pearl Curtis ... Nubian Woman (uncredited)
Joanna Dale ... Bunny (uncredited)
John Damler ... Jailer (uncredited)
Linda Danson ... Owl (uncredited)
Mary Dean ... Background Singer (uncredited)
Patricia Denise ... Chicken (uncredited)
Jo Gilbert ... Mother (uncredited)
Diane Gump ... Fox (uncredited)

Allison Hayes ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Chester Hayes ... Opponent (uncredited)
John Hudkins ... Salkhad (uncredited)
Patricia Jackson ... Lion (uncredited)

I. Stanford Jolley ... Murderer (uncredited)
George Keymas ... Scribe (uncredited)
Rex Lease ... Purveyor (uncredited)
George J. Lewis ... Guard (uncredited)
Melba Liston ... Female Servant (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons ... Harun (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton ... Lame Man (uncredited)
Peter Mamakos ... Guard (uncredited)
Lucille Maracini ... Ram (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ... Tailor (uncredited)
Tina Menard ... Servant (uncredited)
Patrick Miller ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Beggar (uncredited)
Frank Mitchell ... Forerunner (uncredited)
Dorothy Neumann ... Mother (uncredited)
Loulie Jean Norman ... Background Singer (uncredited)
Milicent Patrick ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Rose Plumer ... Beggar (uncredited)
Jean Ransome ... Bit Role (uncredited)
William Reeves ... Background Singer (uncredited)
Gordon Richards ... Nahreeb's Scribe (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Chieftain (uncredited)
George Robotham ... Human Sacrifice (uncredited)

George Selk ... Citizen (uncredited)
Almira Sessions ... Woman Buying Grain (uncredited)
Tom Steele ... Slave (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Beggar (uncredited)
Gloria Stone ... Mouse (uncredited)
Louis Tomei ... Abu (uncredited)
Joe Waring ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Lila Zali ... Monkey (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Thorpe 
 
Writing credits
Joseph Breen (adaptation from the Bible story) (as Joe Breen Jr.) and
Samuel James Larsen (adaptation from the Bible story)

Maurice Zimm 

Produced by
Charles Schnee .... producer
 
Original Music by
Bronislau Kaper 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Ruttenberg 
 
Film Editing by
Harold F. Kress 
 
Art Direction by
Randall Duell 
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Henry Grace 
Edwin B. Willis 
 
Costume Design by
Herschel McCoy 
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup designer
 
Production Management
William Dorfman .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arvid Griffen .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Wesley C. Miller .... recording supervisor
Conrad Kahn .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
 
Stunts
Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Chester Hayes .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hicks .... stunts (uncredited)
John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Louis Tomei .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Wilson .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Alvord Eiseman .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Alex Alexander .... musician: cello (uncredited)
John Caper Jr. .... music copyist (uncredited)
Robert Franklyn .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Jack Marshall .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
André Previn .... conductor (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Robert Van Eps .... music copyist (uncredited)
Robert Van Eps .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Si Zentner .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Alex Romero .... choreographer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
112 min (TCM print)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lana Turner in her autobiography: [on "The Prodigal"] The Prodigal Son they named Micah, and to play him, chose Edmund Purdom, a young man with a remarkably high opinion of himself. His pomposity was hard enough to bear; worse yet was the garlic breath he brought back from lunch. My lines were so stupid I hated to go to work in the morning. Even the costumes were atrocious. They were ornate concoctions dripping with heavy beads, and the material was so stiff that I felt I was wearing armor. "Well," I thought, "I may be trapped in this picture, but I'm going to make myself as sensuous, sexy, and gorgeous as possible."See more »
Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Lana Turner... a Daughter's Memoir (2001) (TV)See more »

FAQ

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
All the juicy bits the Bible left out!, 5 August 2007
Author: TrevorAclea from London, England

The Prodigal fills in all those bits in the parable of the Prodigal Son that Jesus omitted, and very entertainingly too. It seems junior (Edmund Purdom) got the hots for the high priestess of Astati (Lana Turner) while incurring the wrath of the high priest of Baal and tyrant of Damascus (Louis Calhern) and frittered away his fortune before coming to his senses and leading the people in rebellion against their pagan oppressors. As you might guess from that synopsis, there are more than a few similarities to The Egyptian, not least Edmund Purdom selling his birthright for a second time for bit of nookie with a pagan temptress (he'd do anything for a bit of skirt, that Purdom: did he learn nothing from his experience with Bella Darvi?), although this is a lot less thoughtful and a lot more fun. A rare 50s epic shot in Hollywood rather than Cinecitta, it falls somewhere between De Mille – the apprentice child priestess in her miniature chariot drawn by a goat could be straight out of the opening of the silent King of Kings – and MGM at its most opulent. There's not much for the mind or the spirit here, but there's plenty to entertain, from Joseph Wiseman hamming away like nobody's business, even doing an imitation of a teapot in one bizarre shot, to the most imaginative Breen Office-approved sadism this side of Sodom and Gomorrah – not only do we get willing sacrificial victims swan diving into fiery pits and a fight with a stuffed vulture but when people get the knife, they get it literally in the neck, which is a pretty neat trick. Calhern offers some splendid villainy, Francis L. Sullivan's moneylender plays both ends against the middle with sly wit, Hurd Hatfield lookalike James Mitchell fulfils the mute but acrobatic sidekick duties and director Richard Thorpe ensures it all looks great in CinemaScope.

It ain't art but it is great fun.

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