Michael Curtiz

S.: Darryl F.Zanuck. Sc.(dialoghi): Anthony Coldeway. F.: Hal Mohr, Barney McGill. Scgr.: Anton Grot. Eff.spec.: Fred Jackman. M.: Harold McCord. Mus.: Louis Silvers. In.: Dolores Costello (Mary/Miriam), George O’Brien (Travis/Japhet), Noah Beery (Nickoloff/king Nephilim), Louise Fazenda (Hilda), Guinn Williams (Al/Ham), Paul McAllister (Minister/Noah), Nigel De Brulier, Myrna Loy, Malcolm Waite. P.: Warner Bros., The Vitaphone Corp. 35mm.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Noah’s Ark is a part-talking Vitaphone feature. The music score is heard throughout the film; dialogie begins in reel three with a scene of Costello and O’Brien, the latter receiving good reviews for voice and acting. In her three talking roles to date, Costello was criticized for having a weak voice, which detracted from the power of her “silent” acting. A spectacle film, Noah’s Ark borrows from D.W.Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille in depicting parallel stories, here two themes set in biblical times and in World War I, with the same cast in dual roles. The climax of the film, prior to the Armistice sequence, is the flooding of the temple and the struggle to reach the Ark. Hal Mohr, who had photographed several Vitaphone features, refused to shoot the Flood sequence, fearing that the collapse of the giant columns would injure the cast. He resigned, Barney McGill took his place, no shots were faked, and several extras reportedly drowned. “Warner Brothers have turned out in Noah’s Ark more spectacle and thrill than any producer has ever achieved in 14,000 feet of film or less (…). They show everything conceivable under the sun – mobs, mobs, and mobs; Niagaras of water, train wreck, war aplenty, crashes, deluges and everything that goes to give the picture fan a thrill. (…) Talk did not enter into the picture until after the first 35 minutes. It started with love scene between O’Brien and Miss Costello and then brought in talk by Beery, McAllister and Williams. (…) The Costello voice is just not for the talkers and hurts the impression made by her silent acting. Her silent acting great. O’Brien is surprising on the talk. (…) Part is possibly his best so far as acting is concerned.” (Variety, 11/7/1928)

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