The Prodigal (1955)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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One critic has noted that The Prodigal was aptly titled, inasmuch as it was all too prodigal with the funds of the then-flagging MGM studios. In its retelling of the 22-verse Biblical story of the Prodigal Son, the film helpfully fills in the story details inconsiderately left out of the Old Testament. Edmond Purdon plays Micah, the wastrel son of Eli (Walter Hampden) who takes his share of his father's fortune and blows it all in wicked old Damascus. Micah's one redeeming feature is his unserving faithful in the Lord God Jehovah. Pagan princess Samarra (Lana Turner at her most giddily exotic) intends to seduce Micah into renouncing his faith, only to get stoned to death for her troubles. Nearly two hours pass before Micah returns home and the fatted calf is killed in his honor. If for nothing else, The Prodigal would be memorable for Lana Turner's pagan-ritual costume, which is little more than a glorified bikini.
Classics , Drama , Faith & Spirituality
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Lana Turner
as Samarra
Louis Calhern
as Nahreeb
Neville Brand
as Rhakim
Walter Hampden
as Eli, Micah's Father
Taina Elg
as Elissa
Francis L. Sullivan
as Bosra the Moneylender
Joseph Wiseman
as Carmish
Sandy Descher
as Yasmin
John Dehner
as Joram
Cecil Kellaway
as Governor
Philip Tonge
as Barber/Surgeon
Henry Daniell
as Ramadi
Paul Cavanagh
as Tobiah
Jay Novello
as Merchant
Dorothy Adams
as Carpenter's Wife
Peter DeBear
as Carpenter's Son
Richard Devon
as Risafe
Ann Cameron
as Lahla
Gloria Dea
as Faradine
John Rosser
as Lirhan
Paul Bryar
as Townsman
Rex Lease
as Purveyor
Almira Sessions
as Old Lady
Chuck Roberson
as Chieftain
Tom Steele
as Slave
Joanne Dale
as Bunny
Lila Zali
as Monkey
John Damler
as Jailer
Jo Gilbert
as Mother
David Leonard
as Blind Man
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Critic Reviews for The Prodigal

All Critics (1)

...a lavish MGM spectacle of the era, with the movie's costume and set designers the real stars of the show.

Full Review… | June 24, 2007
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for The Prodigal


Well appointed but plodding biblical spectacle with Lana looking beautiful in some eye popping and for the period very revealing costumes. A high quality cast is trapped in this junior league Sunday school lesson. Still if you're a fan of "The Robe", "The Ten Commandments" and so forth then there are things to enjoy herein.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Opulent, high-budget film based on the biblical tale "The Prodigal Son" is basically a vehicle for Lana Turner to strut her stuff. Worth seeing for its camp value and the fight with the rubber mechanical vulture at the end.

Mara Barker
Mara Barker

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