Ida Mckenzie. Don Marion. Edith May. Mary Mayberry. Collette Merton.
The Godless Girl
Buddy Messenger. Pat Moore. Jack Murphy. Margaret Gibson. Janice Peters. Hortense Petra.
Gertrude Quality. Rae Randall.
Billy van Avery. Dorothy Ward. Lyle Talbot. Lewis Sargent. Chief Wheeler. Cecil B. De Mille Productions. Frank Urson. Curt Rehfeld. Jeanie Macpherson. Beulah Marie Dix. Peverell Marley. Franklin McBride. Anne Bauchens.
Mitchell Leisen. Roy Burns.
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Road to Rio; Dirty Pretty Things; The Killing; The Godless Girl
Teaching film, TV and media studies. Education events at BFI Southbank. Viewing theatre hire. Archive content sales and licensing. Stills sales. BFI Southbank purchases. Skip to main content. Search for mobiles. Main navigation for mobiles. The Godless Girl Now that would have been a movie. Even if her appeal remains a mystery to me, Basquette managed to charm the trousers right off numerous film historians in her twilight years.
She wove spicy tales of spies, war, getting a contract offer from the Third Reich and subsequently kicking Hitler in the naughty bits. Yes, quite literally. She claims that she trekked to Germany in order to talk over a career in Reich cinema and was greeted by Hitler himself. He got grabby, she got stompy and thus ended the negotiations. I remain unimpressed and unconvinced.
Worse, no one discusses the biggest problem of the narrative: Why the heck did she go to Germany? This was not the early thirties, the Nazis had been in power for years. Further, the Olympics in Berlin had helped open up a conversation on fascism, Nazism and the growing threat from Germany and its allies. I do not often agree with author Anthony Slide but he is one of the few major silent film historians to see through Basquette.
He correctly points out that by this time in her career, she was reduced to sixth or seventh billing in obscure poverty row films.
Queen Silver: The Godless Girl | Free Inquiry
How exactly was Hitler watching them? Germany was one of the biggest foreign markets for Hollywood films. And why did it take Hitler so long to send for her if he loved her so much? Clarification: American studios maintained distribution deals with Germany if you want to complain about that, I expect you to be equally hard on all businesses that did trade with Germany pre-war; not saying it is right, just not sure why films are singled out and some non-German stars were still locked into contracts that were negotiated before the Nazis took power or before their dangerous ambitions were widely known.
Also, a few German performers— Camilla Horn and Curt Jurgens , for example—did not leave their native country but made their displeasure with the Nazi regime known and suffered the consequences. If you can think of a plausible reason for an American actor to join UFA in , I would be happy to hear it. For historical context, consider the enormous damage to good will and reputation that Wallis Simpson and the former King Edward sustained when they paid a visit to Hitler in Sorry, Miss Basquette.
The Godless Girl was the end of an era in several respects. It was the last silent film that DeMille ever directed and it was the last film he made under his own banner. Creative accounting could not save a studio with finances that had always been shaky. DeMille signed on with MGM for a disastrous three film deal, an unpleasant experience for all parties involved.
It looked like his career was kaput and he was unemployed for a year. He was saved by returning to his roots. DeMille rejoined Paramount and made the sort of decadent historical film that would become his trademark, The Sign of the Cross. The Godless Girl is a mixed bag but it does show what DeMille was capable of when he put his mind to it. You can safely say that this is a movie ahead of its time and it has the usual limitations of a trailblazing work.
The film is rather marred by its oh-so happy ending. And those questions of lost faith? Forget them! We have romance! With all this movie history behind us, it is easy to forget how lurid this film would have seemed when first released. All silent films require a certain amount of mental time travel to enjoy but The Godless Girl requires more than most.
While the performances in film are not all they could be, the raw prison scenes still have the power to shock. It is currently out of print, which is a shame as it is excellent. Such an interesting review. I need to catch this film. Thank you for this great blogathon too! Thank you so much! Yes, I definitely recommend seeing this at least once. Preston Sturges and Orson Welles had similar moms… real iconoclasts and downright zany in some ways. And clearly huge influences on their sons!! Yes, Lina definitely did everything in a big way.
I love that she took a look around, decided her current job stank and took on one that technically did not welcome women. Just try telling her no! What a great post! I always learn a lot from you. Thanks for the introduction! Is the version on the out-of-print boxed set the original or the one with the sound sequences added? With DeMille, is it because those biblical epics were such monumental commercial successes? Great climactic sequence there, too, which involves a fire but only incidentally.