The daughter of man who owns a South Seas pearl business falls in love with a wealthy traveler. Her father dies, leaving her the business. A greedy ship captain schemes to take the business... See full summary »
James R. Sullivan
Merilla (Annette Kellerman), Queen of the Seas, finds a book among the wreckage at the bottom of the sea, that contains a prophecy that she shall save four human beings and then receive a ... See full summary »
Brenon served as writer of this original scenario/screenplay for the film. However, he more than likely saw and was influenced by David Belasco and John Luther Long's 1902 Broadway play The Darling of the Gods starring Blanche Bates, Robert T. Haines, and young George Arliss, which has a similar theme of reward for rescuing a child and a large ensemble cast. The play differs in that it is set in feudal Japan while the movie is backdropped in an undersea kingdom, not unlike Atlantis. Brenon makes aspects of the play cinematic (underwater sequences, Kellerman's nudity, etc.) in an obvious effort to avoid plagiarism of Belasco's play and hence a lawsuit. See more »
A detailed synopsis of Herbert Brenon's lost spectacular can be easily found (presently) by searching "A Daughter of the Gods" and "Library of Congress". Before that, the film's program expressed its fantastical content, "The Prologue: The plaything of a little child escapes its earthly prison. And thereby hangs a tale of many years ago. Act One: The land of a Mighty Sultan, and a record of many strange happenings there. A Fairy Prince and Princess Meet. Act Two: Wherein we all become children again and fight for a beautiful Princess. The land of the Great Beyond. The Fairy Prince and Princess meet again, never to be parted."
"A Daughter of the Gods" was shot in Jamaica, and cost over a million dollars to make. It was the second successful collaboration for acclaimed director Herbert Brenon and aquatic superstar Annette Kellerman (herein, playing Princess Anitia). Although several reviewers reported it to be "stodgy" and too long (Brenon called it "three enchanting hours"), over several years (and reissues), it must have eventually recouped its cost. "Tasteful" nude scenes, exposing the conveniently long-haired Ms. Kellerman's naked form, must have helped cause the sensational box office.
****** A Daughter of the Gods (10/17/16) Herbert Brenon ~ Annette Kellerman, William E. Shay, Violet Horner
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