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The Queen of Sheba (1921) is a silent drama film produced by Fox studios about the story of the ill-fated romance between Solomon, King of Israel, and the Queen of Sheba. Written and directed by J. Gordon Edwards, it starred Betty Blythe as the Queen and Fritz Leiber Sr. as King Solomon. The film is well known amongst silent film buffs for the risqué costumes worn by Blythe, as evidenced by several surviving stills taken during the production. This was a rarity in mainstream Hollywood films at the time. Only a short fragment of the film survives.

Queen of Sheba
Queenofsheba-poster-1921-threepeople.jpg
Poster for the film.
Directed byJ. Gordon Edwards
Produced byWilliam Fox
Written byJ. Gordon Edwards
Virginia Tracy
StarringBetty Blythe
CinematographyJohn W. Boyle
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • April 10, 1921 (1921-04-10)
Running time
9 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles
Betty Blythe as the Queen of Sheba

Contents

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

The film was originally intended for Theda Bara. However Bara chose not to renew her contract and, after making the ill-fated Kathleen Mavourneen, she all but retired from film. While making Mavourneen, construction began on sets for The Queen of Sheba. Not wanting it to go to waste, William Fox chose to put Betty Blythe in the role. The film became a hit but Blythe never matched its success with her later films.

The topless scenes filmed in this movie were seen only in European release versions of the movie.

 
Fritz Leiber, Sr. and Betty Blythe in The Queen of Sheba

StatusEdit

The film is presumed lost.[1][2] A 1937 New Jersey vault fire destroyed most of the Fox silent film negatives and prints, and it is unlikely a copy of The Queen of Sheba exists. However, in May 2011, a 17-second fragment was found,[3] and initially mistakenly identified as from Cleopatra (1917), though comparison with stills from the movie have since led to it being identified correctly.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: The Queen of Sheba". silentera.com.
  2. ^ The Queen of Sheba at TheGreatStars.com; Lost Films Wanted(Wayback Machine)..Retrieved July 21, 2018
  3. ^ 17 second fragment from the film at the Internet Archive
  4. ^ "So Is this for Real?". NitrateVille.com forum. See image comparison.

External linksEdit