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The Godless Girl (1928)

Passed | | Drama | 11 March 1929 (Denmark)
Two teenagers, one an atheist and the other a Christian, fall in love at a brutal reform school.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Jeanie Macpherson (story), Beulah Marie Dix (titles) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lina Basquette ... Judy Craig - The Girl
Marie Prevost ... Mame - The Other Girl
Tom Keene ... Bob Hathaway - The Boy (as George Duryea)
Noah Beery ... The Brute
Eddie Quillan ... Samuel 'Bozo' Johnson - The Goat
Mary Jane Irving ... The Victim
Clarence Burton Clarence Burton ... Prison Guard
Richard Alexander ... Prison Guard (as Dick Alexander)
Kate Price ... Prison Matron
Hedwiga Reicher ... Prison Matron (as Hedwig Reicher)
Julia Faye ... Inmate
Viola Louie Viola Louie ... Inmate
Emily Barrye Emily Barrye ... Inmate
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Storyline

High school students led by the Girl and Boy turn from Christianity toward secret atheistic meetings. When a girl is accidentally killed by a stairway collapse, the Girl and Boy go to reform school where they are treated brutally. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Personally Endorsed By Governors of Forty-Eight States As An Outstanding Picture-See and Hear it (Print Ad- Gazette and Bulletin, ((Williamsport, Penna.)) 12 April 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 March 1929 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Atheist See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (sound version) (edited) (sound)

Sound Mix:

Silent (RCA Photophone System) (talking sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The last silent film made by Cecil B. DeMille. See more »

Quotes

Female Inmate: [while the Reformatory goes up in flames] Whoopee! Get out your asbestos union-suits!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Predictably, the film ends with Judy turning from atheism and believing in God. Director Cecil B. DeMille was surprised to find that the film was very popular in Soviet Russia, until he learned that it was being shown without the final reel showing the transformation. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Early DeMille morality tale...not bad at all with climactic fire sequence...
14 December 2008 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

During the awkward transitional stage from silents to talkies, Cecil B. DeMille made this 1929 story about THE GODLESS GIRL. It's given a very heavy-handed treatment and the Christian values vs. Atheism may seem a bit jarring to modern audiences.

LINA BASQUETTE has the title role, a movie originally shot as a silent film but with some sound added before the film was released. It's an intimate drama, a crime story involving high school students, not the usual epic kind of film DeMille is famous for except for a climactic fire sequence.

A riot breaks out at high school when someone circulates pamphlets on Atheism and meets a lot of resistance from a religious group. Three of the students end up in a reformatory when one of the girls among the students dies when a stair railing collapses.

Treatment there seems to be worse than the average prison. Things go from bad to worse when brutal guard NOAH BEERY gets his hands on two of the male students disobeying rules. DeMille seems to relish showing the brutal treatment. The hero of the tale, TOM KEENE, devises an escape plan so he and Lina can escape the torments of the so-called reform school.

Suspense builds for the escape plan and there's a quieter interlude where the boy and girl with different beliefs fall in love. But then the action picks up again after the two are found by the authorities and returned to their prison. While she's in solitary, an accidental fire sets the stage for the very suspenseful conclusion wherein the hero has to come to her rescue.

Summing up: One of the better silent films, it holds the interest throughout and builds to a realistic fire sequence that director DeMille milks for all it's worth.


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