A Daughter of the Gods
|A Daughter of the Gods|
|Directed by||Herbert Brenon|
|Produced by||William Fox|
|Written by||Herbert Brenon|
William E. Shay
Hal De Forrest
|Music by||Robert Hood Bowers|
J. Roy Hunt
Marcel Le Picard
|Editing by||Hettie Grey Baker|
|Distributed by||Fox Film Corporation|
|Running time||180 mins.|
A Daughter of the Gods was a 1916 American silent fantasy drama film written and directed by Herbert Brenon. The film was controversial because of the sequences of what was regarded as superfluous nudity by the main character, Nydia, played by Australian swimming star Annette Kellerman. The scene is regarded as the first complete nude scene by a major star, which occurred during a waterfall sequence, though most of Kellerman's body is covered by her long hair. It was filmed by Fox Film Corporation in Kingston, Jamaica where huge sets were constructed, and directed by Herbert Brenon.
Brenon served as writer of this original scenario/screenplay for the film. However he more than likely saw and was influenced by David Belasco and John Luther Long's 1902 Broadway play The Darling of the Gods starring Blanche Bates, Robert T. Haines, and young George Arliss, which has a similar theme of reward for rescuing a child and a large ensemble cast. The play differs in that it is set in feudal Japan while the movie is backdropped in an undersea kingdom, not unlike Atlantis.
- Annette Kellerman as Anitia (daughter of the gods)
- William E. Shay as Prince Omar (as William Shay)
- Hal De Forrest as the Sultan
- Marcelle Hontabat as Celine
- Violet Horner as Zarrah
- Jane Lee as Little Prince Omar
- Stuart Holmes as Moorish merchant
- Katherine Lee as Nydia
- Ricca Allen as Witch of Badness
- Millie Liston as Zarrah's mother (as Milly Liston)
- Henrietta Gilbert as Fairy of Goodness
- Walter James as Chief Eunuch
- Walter McCollough as chief of the Sultan's Guard
- Mark Price as the slave dealer
- Louise Rial as his wife
- Edward Boring as Arab Sheik
- Barbara Castleton
The film is credited as the first US production to cost $1 million to produce. Studio head William Fox was so incensed with the cost of production he removed Herbert Brenon's name from the film. However, Brenon sued to have his name restored to the film's credits, and won.
Great cost was afforded to make a sanitary of mosquito-proofing over a section of Kingston, Jamaica. Sets consumed 2,500 barrels (400 m3) of plaster, 500 barrels (79 m3) of cement, 2,000,000 board feet (5,000 m3) of lumber, and ten tons of paper. Director Herbert Brenon employed 20,000 people during the eight months of production and used 220,000 feet (67,000 m) of film to shoot the picture.
- Hall, Sheldon; Neale, Stephen (2010). Epics, Spectacles, and Blockbusters: A Hollywood History. Wayne State University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-8143-3008-1.
- Robertson, James Crighton (1993). The Hidden Cinema: British Film Censorship in Action, 1913-1975. Routledge. pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-415-09034-2.
- "A Daughter of the Gods". silentera.com. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Magill's Survey of Cinema; Silent Films Essays 1 A-Fla A Daughter of the Gods page 361, Salem Press c.1981 by Frank Magill
- The Darling of the Gods as produced on Broadway Dec.3, 1902 - May 1903, Belasco Theatre; IBDb.com
- Pictorial History of the American Theatre; 1860-1970 page 71 by Daniel Blum c. 1970 (reprint edition of 1953 original)
- Thompson, Frank T. (1996). Lost Films: Important Movies That Disappeared. Citadel, Carol Publ. Group. p. 60. ISBN 0-806-51604-6.
- Altman, Rick (2004). Silent Film Sound. Columbia University Press. p. 299. ISBN 0-231-11662-4.
- The Picture Show Man entry
- Silent Era entry
- Synopsis (taken from the Library of Congress copyright deposit, with additional material from the film's original program) (Archived 2009-10-23)
- The New York Times (October 18, 1916)
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