- Run Time: 1 hours, 12 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Released: April 6, 2021
- Originally Released: 1920
- Label: Alpha Video
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Across the South Pacific sails the wretched ship captained by Dan Pawl, known throughout the Seven Seas as "The Black Pawl." Years ago, Dan returned home to find his wife in the arms of another man. Subsequently he renounced dry land for the sea, taking his young son Red with him and never looking back. Now grown to adulthood and his father's first mate, Red hates humanity just as much as the man who raised him. Stopping on a tropical island, their ship takes on a passenger - Ruth Lytton, a pretty young girl working as a missionary. Despite their hard-heartedness, the two men find themselves strangely attracted to the girl for reasons they cannot explain. The truth is that Ruth keeps a shocking secret that connects her to both Dan and Red...a secret that will lead to a tragedy that not all of them will walk away from...
A shocking melodrama with a strong religious undercurrent, Godless Men is further proof of the talent of overlooked pioneering director Reginald Barker (1886-1945). Unsung on his two most important works, The Italian (1915) and Civilization (1916) because of self-aggrandizing producer Thomas Ince, Barker made mature action films that took full advantage of outdoor shooting. For Godless Men he had the help of expert cinematographer Percy Hilburn, whose work includes the Lon Chaney classics West of Zanzibar (1928) and The Unholy Three (1930) as well as the original silent version of Ben-Hur (1925). Lead actor Russell Simpson specialized in "grizzled old man" characters and was a member of John Ford's stock company. Among his roles for Ford are Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), Tobacco Road (1941), They Were Expendable (1945), My Darling Clementine (1946) and The Sun Shines Bright (1953). Without a doubt, Simpson's most iconic part for the legendary director was Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940). John Bowers often made movies with his wife, Marguerite de la Motte, including Desire (1923), Flattery (1925) and Daughters Who Pay (1925). Many believe their relationship to be the basis of A Star is Born (1937). Ironically, that film was the last credit for Godless Men leading lady Helene Chadwick, who had once been married to director William Wellman. A descent into alcoholism brought about her death in 1940 at only 42 years old. John Bowers died young as well, committing suicide by drowning when his career waned at the age of 50 in 1936.