Thursday, May 10, 2012
"The Moon of Israel" (Austria 1924)
"The Moon if Israel" is a 1924 silent, black-and -white Austrian epic film. It was directed by Michael Curtiz and was based on the biblical story of the Exodus.
It was this film that brought Curtiz to the attention of the studio head Jack Warner, who invited him to Hollywood in 1926 where he rapidly made a career with Warner studios.
Shooting took place in Vienna with about 5,000 extras in the studios of Sasch-Film. The premiere was on October 24,1924. In about the year 1230 BC the Israelis are in slavery in Egypt. At this difficult time the Jewish slave-girl Merapi falls in love with Prince Seti, son of the Pharoah Menapta. This socially inappropriate love leads to numerous problems which can nevertheless be resolved. At the end of the film Moses leads his people through the Red Sea and into freedom.
Like other films of this period "The Moon of Israel" was inspired by Egyptomania that was sweeping the world after the discovery of the intact tomb and treasures of the Pharoah Tuanklhamun.
"The New York Times" in 1927 noted: "There is naturally much that is mindful of Cecil B. DeMille's film "The Ten Commandments" in "The Moon of Israel," but Mr. Curtiz fortunately has no modern story to tack on to his Egyptian passages. This is an excellent production."