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The Captive (1915)

With her brother killed Sonya is given Turkish captive Mahmud to do the hard work on the farm. After they become fond of each other he strikes a Turkish officer. When peace arrives, his ... See full summary »

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Cecil B. DeMille (based on the play by), Jeanie Macpherson (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Blanche Sweet ... Sonya Martinovich
House Peters ... Muhamud Hassan
Gerald Ward Gerald Ward ... Milos Martinovich
Page Peters ... Marko Martinovitch
Jeanie Macpherson ... Milka
Theodore Roberts ... The Burgomaster
William Elmer ... Turkish Officer (as Billy Elmer)
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Storyline

With her brother killed Sonya is given Turkish captive Mahmud to do the hard work on the farm. After they become fond of each other he strikes a Turkish officer. When peace arrives, his blow costs him his noble lands. She is burned out of her house. They meet again on the road with nothing but each other. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Picturization of the Successful Play (original poster)

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1915 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,154 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The House That Shadows Built (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Early DeMille Picture Delivers
6 October 2017 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

War is declared between Montenegro and Turkey. Page Peters joins the Montenegran army and is promptly shot dead, leaving his sister, Blanche Sweet, and little brother, Gerald Ward, to manage the farm by themselves. Soon they are assigned a P.O.W., aristocratic Turk House Peters, who is amused by Miss Sweet's posturing with a pistol, but treats young Ward and his woolly lamb well. As time goes on, they get on, until the Turks invade the village and it is up to Peters to defend the farm from his countrymen.

This early Demille movie counted coup with Miss Sweet, recently recruited from D.W. Griffith's company. For the period, it was not an expensive movie; estimates are its budget was about $12,000, and its gross of about $50,000 offered a handsome profit for the growing concern that would become Paramount. The performances are good, particularly Miss Sweet's (unsurprisingly) and, despite the costumes, it struck me as essentially a Civil War movie about the reconciliation of the nations that had been transferred to an exotic locale, to avoid comparisons to Griffith's blockbuster BIRTH OF A NATION.

I should offer an admiring word or forty about the Olive Films DVD I saw this on. It was a fine transfer from a perfectly preserved print, with many colored sections and a good supporting score by Lucy Duke. Although the modern viewer may find the film techniques of 1915 a bit telegraphic, for the period it is a solid work and worthwhile viewing for anyone interested in DeMille or Sweet's career.


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