The Sign of the Cross (1932) - Watch Online. Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

Tagline A picture which will proudly lead all the entertainments the world has ever seen.
Genres Drama     History    
IMDb rating
7/10
Director    
Writers Wilson Barrett (from the play by)
Sidney Buchman (screen play)
Dudley Nichols (1944 prologue) (uncredited)
Henryk Sienkiewicz (novel "Quo Vadis") (uncredited source)
Waldemar Young (screen play)
Cast                                                                        
Country USA
Language English
Runtime West Germany:108 min, 122 min
Plot After burning Rome, Emperor Nero decides to blame the Christians, and issues the edict that they are all to be caught and sent to the arena. Two old Christians are caught, and about to be hauled off, when Marcus, the highest military official in Rome, comes upon them. When he sees their stepdaughter Mercia, he instantly falls in love with her and frees them. Marcus pursues Mercia, which gets him into trouble with Emperor (for being easy on Christians) and with the Empress, who loves him and is jealous.... see The Sign of the Cross on IMDb

Streaming resources for this Cecil B. DeMille Drama, History Movie

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    Category: Drama All Genres: Drama, History Release Year: 1932 Country: USA Runtime: 122 Rating: 5 (0) Languages: English Director: Cecil B. DeMille Sound: Mono

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Amazon details

Cecil B. DeMille's pre-Hays Code Roman costume drama manages to mix fast-and-loose historical facts with melodrama and titillation. Fredric March plays Marcus Superbus, a Roman soldier and womanizer who jeopardizes his position in Nero's storm troopers by developing a crush on a beautiful Christian girl, Mercia (Elissa Landi). With the Christians keeping their faith far underground, Superbus walks a tightrope between his obligations to the state and his love for Mercia until she and her family are rounded up and hauled off to the arena. The Sign of the Cross is not without its problems; by modern standards, it often seems slow and stagy, and its moralistic message comes across as blunt and heavy-handed. DeMille, however, shrewdly knew how to keep an audience's attention in ways that would have been impossible in subsequent years. Consider Claudette Colbert as the alluring, evil Poppaea, lolling in a bath of asses' milk with her breasts almost completely exposed. Or there's the scene where Marcus tries to get Mercia to loosen up a bit; his idea of a fun time is to take her to an orgy where she's groped by a lesbian during an erotic dance. Then there's Charles Laughton as the decadent Nero, his fey manner abetted by an oiled-up boy-toy at his side in nearly every scene. The climactic scenes at the arena are still violent today, with Christians being gnawed by lions, gladiators knocking each other's brains out, and an Amazon spearing a Pygmy and carrying him around like a kebab! The Sign of the Cross was heavily cut for rerelease in later years but is now available again in its uncut form. --Jerry Renshaw
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