|Genre: Classics, Drama, Faith & Spirituality|
Directed By: Richard Thorpe
Written By: Maurice Zimm, Joe Breen, Jr., Samuel James Larsen
In Theaters: 13 May 1955 Limited
On Disc/Streaming: 26 June 2007
Runtime: 113 minutes
Box office: $4,143,000
Edmund Purdom as Micah
Lana Turner as Samarra
James Mitchell as Asham
Louis Calhern as Nahreeb
Neville Brand as Rhakim
Walter Hampden as Eli
Taina Elg as Elissa
Audrey Dalton as Ruth
Joseph Wiseman as Carmish
John Dehner as Joram
Cecil Kellaway as the Governor
“The Prodigal” is a 1955 Eastmancolor biblical epic CinemaScope film made by MGM starring Edmund Purdom and Lana Turner.
It was based on the New Testament parable about a selfish son who leaves his family to pursue a life of pleasure.
The film also features James Mitchell, Louis Calhern, Joseph Wiseman, Cecil Kellaway and Walter Hampden.
The dancer Taina Elg made her film debut.
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.
Micah (Edmund Purdom), a young Hebrew farm boy, sees Samarra (Lana Turner) 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 Micah all of his sins and orders a lavish celebration of his return.
Lana Turner plays Samarra.
Lana felt very uncomfortable much of the time on the Prodigal. Besides the heavy costumes weighted down by metal and beads, she was covered in thick body makeup, which she abhorred, for the sections that skin showed.
Once she got into the role she found more not to like. She didn’t get along with Edmund Purdom, her leading man, which was rare for her. At least Louis Calhern was on hand, who was funny, always telling jokes.
Herschel McCoy was the costume designer on the picture.
His costumes for Lana were among the most eye-popping ever worn by a major star at the time.
They were very provocative by 1955 standards.
You can watch the film here.
Lana Turner did a lot of movies. She really loved being a moviestar.
Here are the most important films in which she starred. Just click the links for more info, photos and videos.
20 April 1937: A Star Is Born
9 Oct. 1937: They Won’t Forget
24 Oct. 1937: The Great Garrick
1 Jan. 1938: The Adventures of Marco Polo
22 July 1938: Love Finds Andy Hardy
12 Aug. 1938: Rich Man, Poor Girl
9 Dec. 1938: Dramatic School
28 April 1939: Calling Dr. Kildare
18 Aug. 1939: These Glamour Girls
29 Sept. 1939: Dancing Co-Ed
19 April 1940: Two Girls on Broadway
19 July 1940: We Who Are Young
25 April 1941: Ziegfeld Girl
12 Aug. 1941: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
11 Dec. 1941: Honky Tonk
18 Febr. 1942: Johnny Eager
27 Aug. 1942: Somewhere I’ll Find You
1 April 1943: Slightly Dangerous
19 Aug. 1943: Du Barry Was A Lady
13 Nov. 1943: The Youngest Profession
23 Aug. 1944: Marriage Is a Private Affair
8 March 1945: Keep Your Powder Dry
1 Oct. 1945: Week-End At The Waldorf
2 May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice
5 Nov. 1947 : Green Dolphin Street
1 Nov. 1947: Cass Timberlane
29 April 1948: Homecoming
20 Oct. 1948: The Three Musketeers
1 Sept. 1950: A Life Of Her Own
2 March 1951: Mr. Imperium
5 Sept. 1952: The Merry Widow
25 Dec. 1952: The Bad And The Beautiful
25 Aug. 1953: Latin Lovers
1 May 1954: Flame And The Flesh
7 Sept. 1954: Betrayed
13 May 1955: The Prodigal
4 June 1955: Sea Chase
14 Dec. 1955: The Rains Of Ranchipur
12 Jan. 1956: Diane
13 Dec. 1957: Peyton Place
30 Jan. 1958: The Lady Takes A Flyer
2 May 1958: Another Time, Another Place
30 April 1959: Imitation Of Life
23 June 1960: Portrait In Black
19 July 1961: By Love Possessed
2 Nov. 1961: Bachelor In Paradise
25 Dec. 1962: Who’s Got The Action?
24 Febr. 1965: Love Has Many Faces
27 April 1966: Madame X
30 April 1969: The Big Cube
7 Nov. 1974: Persecution
27 Oct. 1976: Bittersweet Love
31 Oct. 1980: Witches Brew
21 May 1982: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Lana’s biography “Lana, the Lady, The Legend, The Truth“, “The Films Of Lana Turner” by Lou Valentino and “Lana Turner, The Memories, The Myths and The Movies” by Cheryl Crane.