Awakening, The (1928): Early Victor Fleming Melodrama, Starring Vilma Banky

Victor Fleming directed The Awakening, a feature starring Vilma Bánky, which is believed to be lost.

he Awakening

Film poster

In Alsace, then under German occupation, shortly before the outbreak of WWI, Marie Ducrot is a pretty peasant woman who falls in love with Count Karl von Hagen, a German army officer.

The people suffering under the occupation see Marie as a traitor and assault her physically. Marie disappears and is believed dead; but in fact, she has fled to monastery as a novice.

The war breaks out. Von Hagen is wounded near the monastery, andMarie nurses him back to health. The French lieutenant Le Bête helps the two reach the German lines.

In the end, the couple get to safety, but Le Bête is killed by a sniper.

Vilma Bánky as Marie Ducrot
Walter Byron as Count Karl von Hagen
Louis Wolheim as Le Bete
George Davis as The Orderly
William Orlamond as Grandfather Ducrot
Carl von Haartman as Lieutenant Franz Geyer


Directed by Victor Fleming
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn
Written by Carey Wilson (screenplay); Frances Marion (story)
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld; Irving Berlin (song “Marie”)
Cinematography George Barnes

Production company: Samuel Goldwyn Productions

Distributed by United Artists

Release date: November 17, 1928

Running time: 90 minutes

Oscar Context:

The film was nominated for the Best Production Design, but did not win. Designer William Cameron Menzies was also nominated the same year for Alibi.