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Noah's Ark (1928)

Passed | | Drama, War | 23 August 1929 (Ireland)
The Biblical story of Noah and the Great Flood, with a parallel story of soldiers in the First World War.

Directors:

Michael Curtiz, Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited)

Writers:

Darryl F. Zanuck (story) (as Darryl Francis Zanuck), Anthony Coldeway (adaptation) (as Anthony Coldewey) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dolores Costello ... Marie / Miriam
George O'Brien ... Travis / Japheth
Noah Beery ... Nickoloff / King Nephilim
Louise Fazenda ... Hilda / Tavern Maid
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Al / Ham (as Gwynn Williams)
Paul McAllister Paul McAllister ... Minister / Noah
Myrna Loy ... Dancer / Slave Girl
Anders Randolf ... The German / Leader of Soldiers
Armand Kaliz ... The Frenchman / Leader of the King's Guard
William V. Mong ... Innkeeper / Guard
Malcolm Waite Malcolm Waite ... The Balkan / Shem
Nigel De Brulier ... Soldier / High Priest
Noble Johnson ... Slave Broker
Otto Hoffman ... Investor with Gun / Trader
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rosita Delmar Rosita Delmar
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Storyline

After a short split prologue showing riches as the root of evil in ancient and modern times, the film settles into 1914 France, where the Orient Express is about to be wrecked when a bridge washes out. Among those on board are Al and Travis, Americans who are traveling Europe spending Travis' money, and Marie, a German girl. The boys save Marie after the wreck and Travis falls in love with her. When World War I breaks out Al wants to enlist, but Travis can't, feeling loyal to Marie, a German. By 1917 Al has enlisted, and Travis follows him shortly after marrying Marie. Accused of being a German spy by a Russian agent, she is sentenced to die but is recognized by Travis, who is part of the firing squad. The town they are in is shelled and they are all trapped underground, during which a minister makes a lengthy parallel to ancient times when the King of Akkad persecuted his subjects and defied Jehovah, who finally sends a flood to wipe out mankind, except for Noah and his family, whom ... Written by Ron Kerrigan <,mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See and Hear the spectacle of the ages! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 1929 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Noah's Ark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,005,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (1957) | (1990s restoration)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Apparatus) (talking sequences, musical score and sound effects)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1928 enter the U.S. public domain in 2024. See more »

Goofs

During the flood sequence (1 hr. 29 min. approx.) Japheth (George O'Brien) is clearly repeatedly calling/mouthing "Maria" as he searches for Dolores Costello. Her name in the Biblical sequence is MIRIAM. (And even in the WW1 story, she is named Marie (Not Maria !).) See more »

Quotes

Travis: You can't do this Al. Listen, ol' fellow, you can't go without me. You haven't forgotten. We promised to stick together.
Al: The only way we can stick together, Travis, is for you to go my way.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A restored version, which airs from time to time on Turner Classic Movies, includes most of the talking sequences, which were all cut from the original for the film's re-release in 1957. It also gives credit to the Vitaphone Orchestra before the Warner Bors. logo card, citing the use of the system's "Western Electric Apparatus". This version is 99 minutes long. See more »

Connections

Version of Noah's Ark (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Over There
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by George M. Cohan
Played after Travis joins the parade
See more »

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User Reviews

 
NOAH'S ARK (Michael Curtiz, 1928) ***1/2
17 April 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

The film which cemented versatile director Curtiz' reputation in Hollywood is a part-Talkie spectacular which, despite the title, is not entirely concerned with the famous holocaust depicted in the Old Testament. Rather, it purports to parallel the Deluge with the massive losses in human life incurred during the so-called Great War; in that respect, NOAH'S ARK survives not merely as a solid example of late 1920s film craftsmanship but also as a heartfelt morality play delineating the long-lasting effect of that particular combat upon society – pity that, for all its good intentions, a second (and infinitely harsher) World War would be waged in the space of just 11 years! Anyway, to get back to the topic at hand, I knew the film enjoyed a considerable reputation among epic productions of the Silent era but, aware of the fact that the Biblical tale was only illustrated in the form of a vision (lasting for about 40 of its 100 minutes) embedded within the main plot, I had expected to be disappointed by it. However, we open on a remarkably elaborate prologue (superbly-edited in the contemporary Soviet style) and the WWI sequences themselves are well done (featuring even a spectacular train crash early on) and prove surprisingly absorbing in their own right (especially the interaction between the four protagonists – Noah Beery, Dolores Costello, George O'Brien and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams). Incidentally, all four (and a few others) play additional roles in the Noah story; this section is done on a truly grand scale, in clear imitation of Cecil B. DeMille (with a couple of obvious nods to THE TEN COMMANDMENTS [1923] which, coincidentally, I watched 2 days later!) – with the flood itself still highly impressive after all these years and undoubtedly deserving to be ranked among the finest sequences in all of cinema (though controversy still rages about the apparent disregard for the consideration and safety of those involved – with three extras reportedly drowning and several more getting injured during its shooting)!


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