Production info

Thais
USA, 1917

Mary Garden, Hamilton Revelle, Crauford Kent
Directed by Hugo Ballin, Frank Hall Crane

  

Paphnutius, a wealthy young citizen of ancient Alexandria, is captivated by the beauty of the famous courtesan Thais. While leaving her house, he is attacked by a rival whom he slays in self-defense. Paphnutius, who has studied the doctrines of the early Christians, is overcome with remorse and flees to the desert to join a Christian colony. Later, he imagines that it is his heaven-sent mission to revisit Alexandria and reclaim Thais. Her former love for him, enforced by his eloquence and determination, persuades Thais to foresake her wicked ways and follow him into the desert where she becomes one of the nuns. Haunted by visions of her former luxurious life, however, Thais resolves to return to it. She starts alone across the desert, drops exhausted and repents. Found by the nuns, she is pronounced purged of sin and is taken back to the Christian retreat. Meanwhile, Paphnutius, who has yielded to his old earthly passion for Thais, regrets that he has taken her from her life of luxury. He finds her dying and confesses his sin in prayer as she dies. (source: AFI)

Based on the novel by Anatole France (1844-1924). Produced by Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish in partnership with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn using a combination of both last names to create the name. Seeing an opportunity, Samuel Goldfish then had his name legally changed to Samuel Goldwyn. He merged the company with movie theater magnate Marcus Loew and his Metro Pictures Corporation giving the "Leo the Lion" trade mark to their new entity. When Metro Pictures acquired Louis B. Mayer Pictures, it resulted in a new studio with the legendary name Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). From the end of the Silent Film Era through World War II, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the preeminient motion picture studio in Hollywood, with the greatest output of all of the studios.


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