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November 13, 2022

Rare Photos of Theda Bara During the Filming of ‘Salomé’ (1918)

Salomé is a 1918 American silent drama film produced by William Fox and starring actress Theda Bara. This film is now considered to be a lost film. French film preservationist and historian Henri Langlois said he had the opportunity to buy this film but dismissed it as he felt that the film was not considered a classic. He subsequently realized his lost chance and regretted prejudging which films as worthy of preserving, deciding instead to preserve whatever film he was able to.

Although the film proved to be popular with some theaters charging extra for tickets to see it, Salomé also proved to be controversial. For example, St. Louis, Missouri churches of varying denominations organized to protest the showing of the film. They objected not only to Bara’s attire, but also to the divergence of the plot from Biblical text, such as scenes where John the Baptist was preaching in Jerusalem and where Salome declares her love to John, and to the youthful appearance of John. Objections were also made that children were attending showings of the film.

These rare photos captured portraits of Theda Bara during the filming of Salomé in 1918.


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