Noah's Ark (1928)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Working with parallell narratives, one telling the title story and the other of a WW I-era train wreck, this epic spectacular is a film with a tragic history that illustrates that back in its early years, movie-making was truly risky business. The same cast appears in both stories. The first half of the film is totally silent and the second contains some sound. The film is unusually violent and realistic. The flood scenes are particularly disturbing especially when it is realized that many of the floundering extras were actually drowning. The film's original cameraman, Hal Mohr could see that production designer Anton Grot's sets were quite dangerous and had the potential of doing damage when the flood scenes were filmed. He pleaded with Grot to change them, but Grot refused. Mohr left the film and was replaced by Barney McGill who captured the tragedy on film. When looking for this film, avoid the 1957 reissue as it has been chopped down from 135 to 75 minutes. The 1989 restored version is preferable.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video


Dolores Costello
as Mary / Miriam
George O'Brien
as Travis / Japheth
Paul McAllister
as Minister / Noah
Noah Beery Sr.
as Nickoloff/King Nephilim
Louise Fazenda
as Hilda/Tavern maid
Nigel De Brulier
as Soldier/High Priest
Anders Randolf
as German/Leader of Soldiers
Armand Kaliz
as Frenchman/King's Guard
Myrna Loy
as Dancer/Slave Girl
William V. Mong
as Innkeeper/Guard
Malcolm Waite
as Balkan/Shem
Noble Johnson
as Slave Broker
Otto Hoffman
as Investor with Gun / Trader
Joe Bonomo
as Aide to Leader of Soldiers (uncredited)
John Wayne
as Extra
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Noah's Ark

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

This Biblical spectacle goes on and on as if one hadn't sat through a modern story -- of great quantity, if nothing else.

Full Review… | May 21, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

A spectacular and ambitious part-talkie epic which marries a Biblical theme (the Flood) with a romance set on the eve of the Great War.

Full Review… | January 21, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

The Warner staff show everything conceivable under the sun -- mobs, mobs and mobs; Niagaras of water; train wreck; war aplenty; crashes; deluges and everything.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

A true "spectacular" in every sense of the word,

Full Review… | May 21, 2014
TV Guide

Aiming for De Mille blockbusting, it boasts some fake-Babylonian splendor, though none of C.B.'s lascivious-prurient absurdism.

Full Review… | May 21, 2014

Noah's Ark isn't just a fascinating curio from a very bygone era, it's surprisingly entertaining -- and it is most certainly a spectacle of note.

Full Review… | May 2, 2014
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Noah's Ark

I enjoyed this film. It's a story that combines the biblical story of Noah's ark with a romance in World War 1. At first you may wonder how this can work and at times question how it works but it somehow does. It's beautifully done and it does work. This film was made in 1928 when the cross over to talkies were being made. This film illustrates this cross over well. It was made as a silent but later added some sound. This I thought enhanced the film.

Laura Rachel
Laura Rachel

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