The Prodigal

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The Prodigal
Theatrical release lobby card
Directed by Richard Thorpe
Produced by Charles Schnee
Written by Maurice Zimm
Starring Lana Turner
Edmund Purdom
Louis Calhern
Joseph Wiseman
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Cinematography Joseph Ruttenberg
Edited by Harold F. Kress
Distributed by MGM
Release dates
  • 1955 (1955)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2,783,000[1]
Box office $4,143,000[1]

The Prodigal is a 1955 Biblical epic film made by MGM starring Lana Turner. It was directed by Richard Thorpe and produced by Charles Schnee.

The Maurice Zimm screenplay was adapted by Joseph Breen, Jr. and Samuel James Larsen from the New Testament parable about a selfish son who leaves his family to pursue a life of pleasure. The music score was by Bronislau Kaper, with cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg.

The film also features Edmund Purdom, Louis Calhern, James Mitchell, Joseph Wiseman, Cecil Kellaway and Walter Hampden. The dancer Taina Elg made her film debut.

The Prodigal was satirized in Mad #26 (November 1955) as "The Prodigious".

Plot summary[edit]

The story is loosely based on Jesus Christ's parable of the prodigal son, from the Biblical New Testament Gospels, although considerable liberties are taken with the source material, chief among them being the addition of a female lead in the form of the high priestess of Astarte, Samarra (Turner). Micah (Purdom), a young Hebrew farm boy, sees Samarra and says he will have her. He demands that his father give him his inheritance and journeys to the city of Damascus. There Samarra seduces him into losing his inheritance and betraying his religious faith. Enduring a number of difficulties, Micah finally realizes where he belongs and returns home to his father, who forgives Michael all of his sins and orders a lavish celebration of his return.



According to MGM records the film earned $2,153,000 in the US and Canada and $1,990,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $771,000.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .

External links[edit]