The Sign of the Cross

The Sign of the Cross

DVD - 2011
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This struggle between Christian and pagan in ancient Rome thrills on the grand scale. The corrupt and maniacal Emperor Nero delights in burning the city and blaming the fire on the Christians so he can slaughter them. In the midst of this, Rome's Prefect has the misfortune to fall in love with a Christian maiden and to be desired by Nero's powerful Empress, whom he spurns. The stage is thus set for a spectacular enactment of some of the most chilling events of all time.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, [2011]
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC S
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (125 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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Jun 11, 2014

This is a 1932 pre-Code epic film released by Paramount Pictures, produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
It is based on the original 1895 play by Wilson Barrett.
It is the third and last in DeMille's biblical trilogy with The Ten Commandments (1923) and The King of Kings (1927).
This film has a history of censorship.
In the original version, Marcus Superbus (Fredric March) is unsuccessful in his desire to seduce Mercia (Elisa Landi), an innocent Christian girl.
He then urges Ancaria (Joyzelle Joyner) to perform the erotic "Dance of the Naked Moon" that is intended to "soften" her into life.
This "lesbian dance" was cut from the negative for a 1938 reissue.
Some gladiatorial combat footage was also cut for the 1938 reissue, as were arena sequences involving naked women being attacked by crocodiles and a gorilla.
This DVD (Turner Classic Movies) has been restored to the original 125-minute length.
Some arena scenes are so disgusting yet unquestionably fascinating and gripping.
This epic is a vivid retelling of the struggles of the first Christians.
Elisa Landi portraits a beautiful Christian girl and effectively underplays her role as the virtuous believer who eventually coverts Roman Prefect Marcus Superbus at the very end before entering the arena.


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