6.4/10
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26 user 16 critic

Noah's Ark (1928)

Passed | | Drama, War | 23 August 1929 (Ireland)
The Biblical story of Noah and the Great Flood, with a parallel story of soldiers in the First World War.

Directors:

Michael Curtiz, Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited)

Writers:

Darryl F. Zanuck (story) (as Darryl Francis Zanuck), Anthony Coldeway (adaptation) (as Anthony Coldewey) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dolores Costello ... Marie / Miriam
George O'Brien ... Travis / Japheth
Noah Beery ... Nickoloff / King Nephilim
Louise Fazenda ... Hilda / Tavern Maid
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Al / Ham (as Gwynn Williams)
Paul McAllister Paul McAllister ... Minister / Noah
Myrna Loy ... Dancer / Slave Girl
Anders Randolf ... The German / Leader of Soldiers
Armand Kaliz ... The Frenchman / Leader of the King's Guard
William V. Mong ... Innkeeper / Guard
Malcolm Waite Malcolm Waite ... The Balkan / Shem
Nigel De Brulier ... Soldier / High Priest
Noble Johnson ... Slave Broker
Otto Hoffman ... Investor with Gun / Trader
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rosita Delmar Rosita Delmar
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Storyline

After a short split prologue showing riches as the root of evil in ancient and modern times, the film settles into 1914 France, where the Orient Express is about to be wrecked when a bridge washes out. Among those on board are Al and Travis, Americans who are traveling Europe spending Travis' money, and Marie, a German girl. The boys save Marie after the wreck and Travis falls in love with her. When World War I breaks out Al wants to enlist, but Travis can't, feeling loyal to Marie, a German. By 1917 Al has enlisted, and Travis follows him shortly after marrying Marie. Accused of being a German spy by a Russian agent, she is sentenced to die but is recognized by Travis, who is part of the firing squad. The town they are in is shelled and they are all trapped underground, during which a minister makes a lengthy parallel to ancient times when the King of Akkad persecuted his subjects and defied Jehovah, who finally sends a flood to wipe out mankind, except for Noah and his family, whom ... Written by Ron Kerrigan <,mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See and Hear the spectacle of the ages! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 1929 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

A Arca de Noé See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,005,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (1957) | (1990s restoration)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Apparatus) (talking sequences, musical score and sound effects)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Myrna Loy, although credited only for her small part in the sound sequences, also appears in the silent portion as a golden-winged dancer before the sacrificial altar. See more »

Goofs

During the flood sequence (1 hr. 29 min. approx.) Japheth (George O'Brien) is clearly repeatedly calling/mouthing "Maria" as he searches for Dolores Costello. Her name in the Biblical sequence is MIRIAM. (And even in the WW1 story, she is named Marie (Not Maria !).) See more »

Quotes

Minister: As the Ark prevailed upon the flood waters, Oh, God, so let Thy righteousness prevail in this Deluge of Blood! The Flood - - it was a Deluge of Water drowning a World of Lust! This War - it is a Deluge of Blood drowning a World of Hate! The Flood and the War - God Almighty's Parallel of the Ages.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A restored version, which airs from time to time on Turner Classic Movies, includes most of the talking sequences, which were all cut from the original for the film's re-release in 1957. It also gives credit to the Vitaphone Orchestra before the Warner Bors. logo card, citing the use of the system's "Western Electric Apparatus". This version is 99 minutes long. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Roseland (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Flight of the Bumble Bee
(1900) (uncredited)
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Played during the ticker tape scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quiet please!!!...
30 March 2011 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

... was my reaction and my desire when I sat through the painful talking portions of this movie. The dialogue was uninspired if not just plain weird and Delores Costello has never sounded more ridiculous. I'll chalk that up to the dialogue coach, since so many early female vocal performances in films sounded similarly falsely aristocratic. She's supposed to be a singer/dancer in a vaudeville-like troupe and they have her speaking like she's the queen of England? See Ms. Costello in Magnificent Ambersons if you want to know what she really sounded like.

I still give this film an 8/10 though. As a spectacle film in the De Mille tradition done by Warner Brothers before they had truly emerged into the studio big leagues, it is a sight to behold. No special effects here - those are real buildings falling on real extras and real water pouring onto them. I know director Michael Curtiz had a reputation for holding in great disdain actors who required a lunch break, but you'd think that he at least realized they require oxygen.

The silent style of the players is pretty good. In fact, so good there are a dearth of title cards in the silent portion, since everyone is so adept at conveying their feelings through pantomime. The Vitaphone musical score accompanies the action well and the introduction to the film is particularly well done with water swirling around, sound effects, and the rather haunting musical introduction.

There's some historically interesting points of view being shown here too. Filmed in 1928 over a year before the stock market crash there is a rather prescient visual montage at the beginning of the film equating stock brokers and their obsession with money with the worship of the golden calf of biblical times. However, the end of the film has a moral that is not so prescient - basically equating World War I as that wasteful pointless war to end all wars when a much more horrible conflict was a little more than ten years away.

I'd highly recommend this one for two reasons. For the parts that are silent it is quite a work of visual art. For the parts that are talking it is a good example of how studios were so obsessed with sound that art was thrown out the window in the process, at least for a year or two. I'd rate this as one of my favorite although somewhat guilty cinematic pleasures.


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