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22 user 10 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:

M-G-M's magnificent CINEMASCOPE and Color Spectacular! 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

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

This film did poorly at the box office, resulting in a loss of $771,000 ($6.95M in 2016) for MGM according to studio records. 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

Yasmin: I do not care where I've been. I only care where I am.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Lana Turner... a Daughter's Memoir (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Big and banal
12 April 1999 | by dinky-4See all my reviews

Even when they weren't very good, those widescreen Biblical epics of the 1950's were usually "fun" in a campy sort of way. This leviathan from MGM piles on the lavish sets and costumes but manages to evoke little more than polite boredom mixed with the occasional snicker. There's no historical atmosphere here -- everything is "soundstage" -- and there's no chemistry between its leading man and leading lady. Some worthy players do pop up in the supporting cast -- Louis Calhern, Cecil Kellaway, Joseph Wiseman, etc. -- but they're usually stuck in silly headdresses which look like overturned wastebaskets. James Mitchell probably delivers the liveliest performance in the movie and he plays a mute! Poor Edmund Purdom. He starred in 20th's biggest production of 1954, "The Egyptian" -- after Marlon Brando turned down the part -- and then starred in this, MGM's biggest production of 1955, and yet this almost unprecedented, one-two whammy of multimillion dollar spectacles failed to ignite his acting career. This is puzzling inasmuch as he was a good-looking fellow with a fine voice and real acting talent but perhaps the cold, cynical nature of his two major roles kept audiences from warming to him. He soon wound up in Italian B-movies. The flogging he suffers while chained in a dungeon in "The Prodigal" did, however, win him a bit of unexpected honor. It ranks 66th in the book, "Lash! The Hundred Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies."


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