The Sign of the Cross (1932)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, History


The Sign of the Cross (1932) Poster

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.


6.8/10
1,818

Photos

  • Fredric March in The Sign of the Cross (1932)
  • Elissa Landi and Fredric March in The Sign of the Cross (1932)
  • Joe Bonomo and Sally Rand in The Sign of the Cross (1932)
  • Elissa Landi and Fredric March in The Sign of the Cross (1932)
  • Claudette Colbert and Fredric March in The Sign of the Cross (1932)
  • Tommy Conlon in The Sign of the Cross (1932)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


13 April 2004 | PATRICK1962
THE VERY BEST FROM C.B.
My favorite DeMille film. Charles Laughton and Claudette Colbert are delicious as the debauched emperor and empress of Rome. Prominent supporting players Arthur Hohl and Harry Beresford appeared in two horror classics (ISLAND OF LOST SOULS and DOCTOR X, respectively) the very same year. John Carradine can be seen as a condemned Christian on his way to the arena (you can also hear his voice as a spectator and as a gladiator). Very sharp viewers can also spot Dave O'Brien (a condemned Christian) and Kent Taylor (a disinterested spectator). Three famous scenes still impress today: Poppaea's milk bath; Ancaria's attempted lesbian seduction of Mercia; the outrageous arena sequence featuring beheadings, burnings, impalements, hungry crocodiles, untamed apes, bears, tigers and, of course, lions. Only C.B. could have gotten away with this in 1932! The closing cast list includes the characters Viturius, Servillius and Philodemus, but I'm not sure who they are. Viturius may have been Marcus' soldier-aide, although he doesn't look as burly as Richard Alexander. The other two must be Strabo's ugly, brutish companion and the old Christian man protective of the little orphan girl.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first DeMille film to receive an official Oscar nomination (Best Cinematography). According to the Academy, the art direction of DeMille's Dynamite (1929) had been "under consideration by the various boards of judges" for an Oscar, but only the winners were revealed during the 2nd Academy Awards (1930), which did not have announcements or certificates of nominations.


Quotes

Poppaea: Do you love this girl? Answer me!
Marcus Superbus, Prefect of Rome: Well, then I... I don't know.
Poppaea: That says you perhaps do. I could laugh with Rome about it if I didn't care so much. Marcus Superbus... caught at last by a Christian wanton.
Marcus Superbus, Prefect of Rome: You've no right to call her that.
Poppaea: Oh, very ...


Goofs

When the boxers are fighting with the spiked gloves, the loser gets punched in the face. He is shown with scars on his face and spits blood onto his chest. In the next shot (from a slightly different angle) the scars are there but the blood on his chest is gone.


Alternate Versions

EMKA Limited (the film's current owner) and American Movie Classics restored and preserved the original full-length version in 1994 and is available on video. This restored version runs 125 minutes (including a 3-minute intermission).


Soundtracks

Christian Hymn No.1
(1932) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by
Rudolph G. Kopp
Sung a cappella by Christians at the meeting
Reprised by them after their capture and at the arena
Sung a cappella by Elissa Landi and Tommy Conlon
Played and sung offscreen at the end

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | History

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