Movie 7min

The Prodigal Son (1901)

Original title: L'enfant prodigue
Not rated.

Director Ferdinand Zecca
Country France
Language French
(Original) L'enfant prodigue
(Alternative) Le fils prodique
(Alternative) The Parable of the Prodigal Son
(USA, 1903) Pathé Frères
(USA, 1904) S. Lubin
Based on the Bible Biblical Drama Black and White Drama Forgiveness Grace Money Parable Parable of the Prodigal Son Parables of Jesus Poverty Short Silent Film

A young man spends his time in riotous living after getting half of his inheritance. He lives with swine after all the money is used up and then decides to return home. The Prodigal return and the Father is overcome with joy at his son's return and orders the fatted calf to be killed in his honor.

Pathe produced in 1901 this very popular parable of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke 10:29-35. It harvested a lot of attention and thus it was distributed by many companies in USA.

Pathé described it this way(translated from French):
"We could not do better than to follow this Parable verbatim, which is certainly one of the most endearing of the New Testament, in the sense that it is eternally true. Its touching simplicity naturally designates it for shows specially dedicated to families and institutions. With our superb Passion of N.S.J.C, in 16 tables, it can constitute an absolutely offline program, informative and of high moral significance. Nothing was overlooked in setting this scene. The luxury deployed in the making of the specially made sets, the splendor of the costumes and accessories, as well as the artistic side of the staging, make it the most grandiose picture that has been presented to date in cinematography."

5 Tableaux
Titles from the July 1902 Supplement to Selig catalog.
The Division of the Wealth
The father divides his property between his two sons.
Spending Money in Riotous Living
The young man spends his property on festivals. Ballet.
Herding Swine
Driven by misery, he disputes his food with swine; in a dream he sees his unhappy parents watching for his return.
The Return Home - Forgiveness
The return of the prodigal son. The father, happy to find his child, orders celebrations in his honor.
The Feast of the Fatted Calf
The feast of the calf. Reconciliation of the two brothers.
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Ferdinand Zecca - Director
Vincent Lorant-Heilbronn - Production Design (Set Decoration)