Silent Feature: The Godless Girl


Studio: Cecil B. DeMille Pictures
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Premiered: August 20, 1928 (Los Angeles)

Featured Cast: Lina Basquette, George Duryea, Noah Beery

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriter: Jeanie Macpherson.
Continuity and titles: Ernest Pascal, Beulah Marie Dix
Art director: Mitchell Leisen
Costumes: Adrian
Photography: J. Peverell Marley
Assistant director: Frank Urson
Film editor: Anne Bauchens


A fight between high-school atheists and Christians teaches them the brutal lesson of intolerance.


“A surprising piece of romantic evangelism is The Godless Girl. The story, which stretches from ludicrous slapstick through scenes in a burning reformatory, the intensity in feeling of which equals motion-picture depictions of the French Revolution, is punctured with vapid religious admonitions and strange heavenly warnings in the form of crosses burnt into the palms of the heroine.”

– “A Film of Romance,” The New York Times, April 1, 1929

Artist Comment

“The Godless Girl was the story of a militant atheist club in an American high school. It was considered at the time to be shocking and brutal, but it reflected all too faithfully the shocking and brutal conditions in some reformatories, for it was based upon exhaustive research. The picture was welcomed by zealous workers in the prison reform movement as a contribution to their cause.”

– Cecil B. DeMille, Autobiography


The Godless Girl cost $722,315.17 and grossed $489,095.49.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)