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Joseph in the Land of Egypt (1914)

Not Rated | | Drama | 1 February 1914 (USA)
The second of "Thanhouser Big Productions," a monthly schedule, Joseph in the Land of Egypt was a true "feature" film, a new class of film which came to dominate the market by the end of ... See full summary »


Eugene Moore


Theodore A. Liebler Jr. (play), Lloyd Lonergan (scenario)




Cast overview:
James Cruze ... Joseph
Marguerite Snow ... Potiphar's Wife
John Lehnberg John Lehnberg ... Undetermined Role
Justus D. Barnes ... Undetermined Role
Arthur Bauer Arthur Bauer ... Undetermined Role
Lila Chester ... Undetermined Role (as Lila Hayward Chester)
Riley Chamberlin ... Undetermined Role
David Thompson ... Undetermined Role (as David H. Thompson)
George A. Grimmer George A. Grimmer
The Thanhouser Zoo The Thanhouser Zoo ... Animal Ensemble


The second of "Thanhouser Big Productions," a monthly schedule, Joseph in the Land of Egypt was a true "feature" film, a new class of film which came to dominate the market by the end of 1914. A feature was an hour or more, heavily advertised, with elaborate production values, often with higher ticket prices, longer runs per theater, strongly promoted star cast and was always a drama. Thanhouser followed up on the enormous success one year earlier of THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM with a familiar Biblical story, large and highly decorated (and highly populated) sets, elaborate costumes and (something new) star promotion. Only a few "Thanhouser Big Productions" in early 1914 included specially-commissioned scores from Tams Music Library. It had been common for accompanists to improvise or use standard selections from theater and classical music, or "cue sheets" of compilations tailored specifically to the film. Beginning in 1915, the biggest features included original scores commissioned by the...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

egypt | biblical | based on play | See All (3) »




Not Rated






Release Date:

1 February 1914 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joseph and His Brethren See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

The Story of Joseph
30 September 2009 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

This is a respectful but slightly stodgy film realization of the Biblical story of Joseph -- played here by future director James Cruze.

Part of the problem is caused by the length of the takes. Thanhouser had developed a house style of camera work in which a brisk pace of cutting hid the camera movement necessary to maintain composition. But in this movie the length of a shot seems to be tied to the average length of the titles, which average five lines from the Bible: screen title, then illustrate it. This was, by 1914, rather old hat, but given that this was a Biblical epic and that FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS two years earlier had been such a huge success using the same techniques, the practice is understandable, if slow.

Certainly this was a large production, even for Thanhouser, which was a very ambitious company, quite willing to spend money on sets and costumes. It shows. Also the uncredited set designer and camera man were quite clever. The Egyptian sets have a pretty good 19th Century illustration look to them, sometimes approaching watercolor.

Over all, the effect is a not brilliant and it will never bump Demille from the list of great Biblical epics, but interesting to fans of silent films.

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