Divine Lady, The (1929): Frank Lloyd’s Oscar Winner

Made in 1929, The Divine Lady is Vitaphone sound film with synchronized musical score and sound effects but no spoken dialogue.

The film is directed by Frank Lloyd, who received an Oscar Award in the second year of the kudos.

It is adapted by Harry Carr, Forrest Halsey, Agnes Christine Johnston, and Edwin Justus Mayer from the novel “The Divine Lady: a Romance of Nelson and Emma Hamilton,” by E. Barrington.

The melodramatic tale revolves around love affair between Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton, played by Corinne Griffith, who was Oscar nominated.  Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh would make a better, more famous version of this story in 1940, titled That Hamilton Woman.

It features a theme song, “Lady Divine,” with lyrics by Richard Kountz and music by Nathaniel (Nat) Shilkret.  The song became a popular hit and was later rerecorded by Nat Shilkret, Frank Munn, Ben Selvin, Smith Ballew, Adrian Schubert.

Oscar Nominations: 3

Director: Frank Lloyd

Actress: Corinne Griffith

Cinematography: John Seitz

Oscar Awards:

Frank Lloyd won the Best Director Oscar for three films.  He is one of the few Oscar director to win this kudo for a film that was not even nominated.  He is better known for making The Mutiny on the Bounty, which won the 1935 Best Picture Oscar.

Famous for her beauty, Griffith did not make a successful transition to the sound era and her career faded.  She retired from the screen in 1932.

The Best Actress winner that year was vet star Mary Pickford for Coquette.


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