Sound Feature: The Crusades


Studio: A Cecil B. DeMille Production
Paramount Pictures
Premiered: August 21, 1935 (New York)

Featured Cast: Henry Wilcoxon, Loretta Young, Ian Keith

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriters: Harold Lamb, Dudley Nichols, Waldemar Young
Additional writing: Charles Brackett, Howard Higgin, Jeanie Macpherson
Art directors: Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson, Harold Miles
Production manager: Roy Burns
Assistant directors: George Hippard (first), David MacDonald (second), Cullen Tate
Costumes: Travis Banton
Art directors: Hans Dreier and Roland Anderson
Cinematographer: Victor Milner
Technical effects: Gordon Jennings
Music: Rudolph Kopp
Editor: Anne Bauchens


When Richard the Lionheart wages war against the Muslim Saladin, he finds that religious tolerance is the major part of victory.

Production Quote

“In this scene, knowing nothing of court intrigue, we all shout approval according to the desire of director DeMille, who swings dizzily overhead on the camera boom. An excited ‘peasant,’ forgetting time and place, shouts ‘God bless King George!’ DeMille, who forgets nothing, groans. ‘You’re just eight hundred years ahead of our story!’ he says. ‘Let’s take it again. And please remember that you are in the twelfth century!’”

– James B. Fisher, “Diary of a DeMille Crusader,” Screenland, Vol. XXXI, No. 5 (September 1935)


“Mr. De Mille offered his latest history at the Astor Theatre last night amid the pomp and circumstance that are reserved for large events in the cinema. The epicmaker has lost none of his skill. The Crusades is a grand show. Displaying all of that healthy contempt for icebox pedantry which distinguishes the master showman in his bouts with history, Mr. De Mille provides two hours of tempestuous extravaganza. On his clamorous screen you will discover the most impressive mass excitement that the screen has offered in years. At its best The Crusades possesses the true quality of a screen epic. It is rich in the kind of excitement that pulls an audience irresistibly to the edge of its seat.”

– Andre Sennwald, The New York Times, August 22, 1935

Letters From Regional Theater Owners

“Wonderful picture. We had many compliments on this one. For your best exhibiting days, though.”

– D.E. Fitton, Lyric Theatre, Harrison, Arkansas, Motion Picture Herald, January 18, 1936

Artist Comment

“I tried with something approaching desperation to get the extras in a mob scene to speak the word ‘wrestling,’ Seventy-five percent of them said ‘rasslin.’ I virtually got down on my knees and begged, but they were incapable of uttering the word correctly. When I was a boy I wouldn’t dare drawl a word. My mother refused to answer any question I didn’t state correctly.”

– Cecil B. DeMille to Edwin Schallert, “English Language on Last Legs,” Los Angeles Times, October 21, 1934.


The Crusades cost $1,376,260.87 and grossed $1,491,471.83.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)