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Panthea (1917)

A woman sacrifices everything for her husband's career.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Panthea Romoff
Earle Foxe ... Gerald Mordaunt
L. Rogers Lytton ... Baron de Duisitor
... Prefect of Police
... Police Agent
... Lieutenant
Norbert Wicki ... Ivan Romoff
William L. Abingdon ... Sir Henry Mordaunt
Winifred Harris ... Gerard's Mother
... Gerard's Sister (as Elaine Persey)
Stafford Windsor ... Percival
Richard Rosson ... Pablo Centeno
... Dr. Von Reichstadt
Herbert Barry
Jack Meredith


Panthea Romoff, a political refugee from strife-torn Russia, is rescued after a shipwreck and finds refuge in Britain. After she falls in love with a composer and breaks up his marriage, the pair becomes exiled to Paris, where he composes an opera. In order to help her husband get his work produced, she becomes the mistress of a wealthy aristocrat, whom she later kills when her husband discovers the truth. She then flees back to Russia and is arrested and sentenced to a Siberian prison, where her husband follows to be reunited with her. Written by

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Release Date:

7 January 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Panthéa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Erich von Stroheim, hired as an assistant director and also to play the leader of a troop of soldiers, was so realistic in his sadistic treatment of his men that the actors rebelled and beat him up. Director Allan Dwan removed Von Stroheim from the cast for his own protection. See more »

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User Reviews

Norma Talmadge Makes an Impression
26 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

That this film was reportedly shown at Venice (presumably, in conjunction with the summer's Film Festival) in 1958 makes the possibility of someday seeing "Panthea" tantalizing. Norma Talmadge died in December, 1957, which would seem to confirm that the film was screened, possibly as a tribute to Ms. Talmadge. So, what happened to this print of "Panthea"?

After impressive performances in "A Daughter's Strange Inheritance" (1915) and "The Battle Cry of Peace" (1915), Talmadge began her reign as one of the most acclaimed actresses of the entire silent era. She won a 1915 "Motion Picture Magazine" award as best "Character Woman" for the year (the unusual distinction being the way they differentiated an "Actress" from a "Star" back then). Talmadge was a popular "Triangle" player in 1916. But, the 1917 release of "Panthea" established her as a superstar (with help from producer-lover Joseph M. Schenck, director Alan Dwan, and photographer Harold Rosson).

Contemporary critics lavished praise on "Panthea". Julian Johnson called it "one of the best photoplays in screen history," despite an "ineffective" ending, in "Photoplay" magazine (April 1917), explaining, "Norma Talmadge plays Panthea with a verve, abandon and surety which denominates her queen of our younger silver-sheet emotionalists. There is no woman on the depthless stage who can flash from woe to laughter and back again (like) Talmadge. She is 100% surefire. Rogers Lytton, as the Baron, surpasses all his other efforts. Earle Foxe plays Gerald in psychopathic correctness."

Fortunately, the number of lost Talmadge film reels is not as extensive as was once believed. An impressive number are known to exist (search Greta de Groat's website for an excellent listing); but, they are in need of restoration. The reason so few of Talmadge's films are available, presently, appears to be due to lack of interest (and funds). Hopefully, someone will locate films like "Panthea" (1917), and restore Talmadge's acclaimed "Smilin' Through" (1922).

******** Panthea (1/7/17) Alan Dwan ~ Norma Talmadge, Earle Foxe, L. Rogers Lytton

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