The Godless Girl (1928) is an American dramatic silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shown for years as his last completely silent film. The cast features Lina Basquette, Marie Prevost, Tom Keene and Noah Beery.
|The Godless Girl|
|Directed by||Cecil B. DeMille|
|Written by|| Beulah Marie Dix |
|Produced by||Cecil B. DeMille|
|Starring|| Lina Basquette |
Noah Beery Sr.
|Cinematography||J. Peverell Marley|
|Edited by||Anne Bauchens|
|Distributed by||Pathé Exchange|
|Languages|| Silent |
This drama features a romance between two different teenagers: a young atheist girl, Judith Craig, and the male head of a Christian youth organization, Bob Hathaway. The two leaders and their groups attack each other, starting a riot that kills a young girl. Followed by a goofy boy, Bozo, the three are thrown into a juvenile prison with a cruel head guard and bad living conditions. The film maker makes a point of talking about the truth of prison cruelty in the middle of the movie.
Bob, who is in love with Judy, eventually rescues her and takes shelter in an old farm where Judy, breath-taken by the romance and beauty of the forest, realizes there must be a God. They are found and taken back to prison and held in solitary confinement until a fire breaks out. Mame is Judy's new friend who is trying to get her out before she burns. But the rest of the prison girls escape. Bob, who is trusting in God to help them, finally rescues Judy with the help of Mame and Bozo; they also rescue the cruel head guard who pleads for his life and, as he is dying, sets them free for their kind act and rescue. At the very end, Bozo and Mame seem to end up together while Bob and Judy and their rekindled faith ride off together as the movie ends.
The film was inspired by a real-life incident at Hollywood High School when a student called Queen Silver started an atheist society.  She was a child prodigy and socialist orator, accused of leaving atheist pamphlets in student lockers at Hollywood High School in 1927.  The lead actress, Lina Basquette, named her autobiography, Lina: DeMille's Godless Girl, after the film.
The UCLA Film and Television Archive later restored the film's sound version, in which dialogue scenes were added to the final reel, a film that was one of DeMille's first part-sound efforts. Actor Fritz Feld filmed the sound sequences without DeMille's supervision since DeMille had already broken his contract with Pathé, and signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 
The film was very popular in the U.S.S.R. and in Germany. The film's popularity in the Soviet Union is believed in part to be due to the fact that the USSR's film censors edited out the main character's conversion to Christianity near the end of the movie.  It was a box office disaster in the US. When released in August 1928 in its silent film version, it was not a success. DeMille attributed the film's failure to its already outmoded position in the transition from silent to sound cinema. Nor did it recover more than two-thirds of its production costs when released in a so-called "goat gland" version with the addition of a final talkie reel in 1929.
In 2007, a version was released by Photoplay Productions and George Eastman House, in association with the Cecil B. DeMille Foundation and Film4, restored from deMille's own nitrate print, with a new music score by Carl Davis.
Cecil Blount DeMille was an American film director, producer and actor. Between 1914 and 1958, he made 70 features, both silent and sound films. He is acknowledged as a founding father of the American cinema and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and by his cinematic showmanship. His silent films included social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants. He was an active Freemason and member of Prince of Orange Lodge #16 in New York City.
The Big House is a 1930 American pre-Code prison drama film directed by George Hill, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and starring Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone and Robert Montgomery. The story and dialogue were written by Frances Marion, who won the Academy Award for Best Writing Achievement. As one of the first prison movies, it inspired many others of this genre.
The following is an overview of 1928 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.
Marie Prevost was a Canadian-born film actress. During her 20-year career, she made 121 silent and sound films.
Chicago is a 1927 American silent crime comedy-drama film produced by Cecil B. DeMille and directed by Frank Urson. The first film adaptation of Maurine Dallas Watkins' play of the same name, the film stars Phyllis Haver as Roxie Hart, a fame-obsessed housewife who kills her lover in cold blood and, after trying to coerce her husband into taking the blame, is put on trial for murder.
Tom Keene was an American actor known mostly for his roles in B Westerns. During his almost 40-year career in motion pictures Tom Keene worked under three different names. From 1923, when he made his first picture, until 1930 he worked under his birth name George Duryea. The last film he made under this name was Pardon My Gun. Beginning with the 1930 film Tol'able David, he used Tom Keene as his moniker. This name he used up to 1944 when he changed it to Richard Powers. The first film he used this name in was Up in Arms. He continued to use this name for the rest of his film career.
Lina Basquette was an American actress. She is noted for her 75-year career in entertainment, which began during the silent film era. Talented as a dancer, she was paid as a girl for performing and gained her first film contract at age nine. In her acting career, Basquette may have been best known for her role as Judith in The Godless Girl (1929) The film was based on the life of Queen Silver, known as a 20th-century child prodigy, and feminist and socialist activist.
Julia Faye Maloney, known professionally as Julia Faye, was an American actress of silent and sound films. She was known for her appearances in more than 30 Cecil B. DeMille productions. Her various roles ranged from maids and ingénues to vamps and queens.
Anne Bauchens was an American film editor who is remembered for her collaboration over 40 years with the director Cecil B. DeMille. In 1940, she won the Academy Award for film editing.
Jacqueline Alexandra Dyris was a petite stage actress and silent film star, a native of Brussels, Belgium. Her father was of English and Dutch descent and her mother was Spanish and French. Jacqueline was educated in Europe and later Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Chicago, Illinois, and New York, New York.
John Peverell Marley was an American cinematographer. He is one of only six cinematographers to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Edward Quillan was an American film actor and singer whose career began as a child on the vaudeville stages and silent film and continued through the age of television in the 1980s.
The Noose is an American silent drama film adaptation of the Willard Mack play The Noose, which was released in 1928. It stars Richard Barthelmess, Montagu Love, Robert Emmett O'Connor, and Thelma Todd. The movie was adapted by Garrett Graham and James T. O'Donohoe from the play. It was directed by John Francis Dillon and Richard Barthelmess's performance was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Dynamite is a 1929 American pre-Code drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford, and Julia Faye. Written by Jeanie MacPherson, John Howard Lawson, and Gladys Unger, the film is about a convicted murderer scheduled to be executed, whom a socialite marries simply to satisfy a condition of her grandfather's will. Mitchell Leisen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.
The Girl of the Golden West is a surviving 1915 American Western silent black-and-white film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It was based on the 1905 play The Girl of the Golden West by David Belasco. Prints of the film survive in the Library of Congress film archive. It was the first of four film adaptations that have been made of the play.
The Little American is a 1917 American silent romantic war drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film stars Mary Pickford as an American woman who is in love with both a German soldier and a French soldier during World War I. A print of the film is housed at the UCLA Film and Television Archive and has been released on DVD.
The Night Club is a 1925 American silent comedy film directed by Paul Iribe and Frank Urson and written by Cecil B. DeMille, Keene Thompson, Walter Woods, and William C. deMille. The film stars Raymond Griffith, Vera Reynolds, Wallace Beery, Louise Fazenda, and William Austin. The film was released on April 27, 1925, by Paramount Pictures.
Made for Love is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by Paul Sloane, produced by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Leatrice Joy.
Show Folks is a 1928 American silent drama film directed by Paul L. Stein and starring Eddie Quillan, Lina Basquette, and Carole Lombard.
For Alimony Only is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by William C. deMille and starring Leatrice Joy, Clive Brook, and Lilyan Tashman.