Paramount (1914) 67 min. NR
Director: Frederick A. Thomson
Assistant Director: Harry Jay Smith
Screenplay: adapted from play by Wilson Barrett
Cinematography: Herbert J. Siddons
Stars: William Farnum (Marcus Superbus), Rosina Henley (Mercia), Sheridan Block (Nero), Ethel Gray Terry (Berenice), Lila Barclay (Poppaea), Morgan Thorpe (Favius), George Majeroni (Tigellinus), Ogden Child (Stephanus), Ethel Phillips (Dacia), Charles E. Vernon (Glabrio), Rienzi De Cordova (Philodemus), Madge Evans (Little Christian girl in arena), Kittens Reichert (uncredited child)
The Sign of the Cross represents one of the many attempts by early American cinema to compete with the stupendous epics issuing from Italy in the years preceding the first World War. Titles such as Antony and Cleopatra, Spartacus, Julius Caesar and The Last Days of Pompeii give some suggestion of their dimension. Only the efforts of The Sign of the Cross to emulate them is more blatantly derivative than most.
For a brief period of time, The George Eastman House in Rochester N.Y. had the good will to swing wide their vaults. The archive made available over their website many silent features and short films it would’ve been impossible for most people to see under normal circumstances. And though the company copyright was branded into the lower corner of every frame, even at the expense of obscuring certain title cards at times, posting these movies online constituted an admirable attempt to make long unseen treasures available again to the general public they were originally intended for.
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius
Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman; Editing: Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius
Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
Costumes: Mark Bridges
Score: Ludovic Bource
Stars: Jean Dujardin (George Valentin), Bérénice Bejo (Peppy Miller), John Goodman (Al Zimmer), James Cromwell (Clifton), Penelope Ann Miller (Doris), Missi Pyle (Constance), Uggie (The Dog), Malcolm McDowell (The Butler)