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21 user 7 critic

The Prodigal (1955)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 May 1955 (USA)
A wealthy young Hebrew traveling in Damascus renounces his faith after he is seduced by an alluring pagan priestess and cheated of his fortune by the High Priest as well.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Joseph Breen (adaptation) (as Joe Breen Jr.), Samuel James Larsen (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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Storyline

A young Hebrew named Micah, unsatisfied with his father's rural life, demands his inheritance so he can try his luck in the city. Once in the city he falls under the spell of a beautiful pagan priestess who induces him to squander his money and betray his faith. Only after many trials and tribulations does Micah recover his senses and return home to his forgiving father. Written by dinky-4

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of Woman's Beauty and Man's Temptation! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 May 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le fils prodigue See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,783,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Goofs

In one scene, Edmund Purdom's character, Micah, writes a message on a wall, "Samarra, 1 piece of silver, Micah," but it's written in English, a language no one used in Damascus in 70 B.C. and wouldn't exist in written form for another few centuries. See more »

Quotes

Micah: Sometimes, Asham, a man must make a little trouble.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Story of a Dress (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best showcase ever equipped for Turner excellent figure...
19 December 1999 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Lana Turner was pure magic, emotion and sensation in her long walk through the temple of love... And "The Prodigal" will remain the best showcase ever equipped for her excellent figure... The film is M.G.M.'s entry in the CinemaScope Bible race...

Lana was cast as Samarra, the lightly-clad temptress who incited history's first juvenile delinquent to leave home…

The film was based on the Biblical story of the prodigal son as told by St. Luke in Chapter XV of his gospels… There, in fewer than 300 words is the bare suggestion of a youth who "wasted his substance in riotous living," later to return, repentant to farm and father…

The screenplay portrayed the prodigal as Micah (Edmond Purdom), the model son of a Hebrew patriarch named Eli (Walter Hampden). As the film begins he has honored his father by becoming engaged to Ruth (Audrey Dalton), a gentle girl of his own faith…

While visiting Damascus, however, the youth enters the tent of Samarra, the high priestess of Astarte, goddess of the flesh, and he is dazzled by her beauty… To his father's bitter dismay, he demands his share of the family fortune, leaves his fiancée on the eve of their marriage, and goes off to the city in pursuit of the pagan woman, whose duties include presiding over human sacrificial rites…

Among the fleshpots of Damascus, Micah's uncontrollable infatuation for the priestess plunges him into a variety of mishaps… He is victimized by Nahreeb (Louis Calhern), the sinister high priest of Baal, who conspires to destroy him for his irreverent interest in Samarra; by Bosra (Francis L. Sullivan), an unscrupulous moneylender; and even by Samarra herself, who withholds her love until he produces a certain valuable pearl as a gift for her goddess…


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