The Song of Songs (1918 film)

The Song of Songs is a 1918 American silent drama film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and based on a 1914 stage play version by Edward Sheldon of the 1908 novel by Hermann Sudermann, The Song of Songs. This picture was directed by Joseph Kaufman and stars Elsie Ferguson. This was Kaufman's last film before his death on February 1, 1918, very early on during the 1918 flu pandemic.

The Song of Songs
A scene from "The Song of Songs" (SAYRE 13220).jpg
Film still
Directed byJoseph Kaufman
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Jesse L. Lasky
Written byCharles Maigne (scenario)
Based onnovel Das hohe Lied by Hermann Sudermann and play The Song of Songs by Edward Sheldon
StarringElsie Ferguson
CinematographyWilliam Marshall
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
February 18, 1918
Running time
5 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

This film is now considered a lost film.[1][2]

The story was remade as Lily of the Dust (1924) with Pola Negri and Ben Lyon. Marlene Dietrich starred in the first sound version The Song of Songs (1933).

Plot summaryEdit

Lily, an innocent young girl, is convinced to pose nude for a young sculptor. They fall in love, but the sculptor fears the effect of marriage on his work and neglects Lily. Ultimately, in despair, she marries a wealthy older man but does not find happiness there. Only near-tragedy and scandal are able, ironically, to bring her that happiness.



Like many American films of the time, The Song of Songs was subject to cuts and restrictions by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors issued the film an Adults Only permit.[3]


  1. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The Song of Songs at
  2. ^ The Song of Songs as produced on Broadway at the Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre, December 22, 1914 to June 1915, 191 performances;
  3. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 6 (12): 29. March 16, 1918.

External linksEdit