Filmed in Germany in 1924, Michael Curtiz' Die Slavenkoenigen was intended for an American release that same year, under the title Moon of Israel. That release was suppressed by Cecil B. DeMille, who worried that his own The Ten Commandments would be compared unfavorably to the German film (By the time it arrived in the U.S. in 1927, director Curtiz had been hired by Warner Bros., largely on the strength of this one film) Set in ancient Egypt, the film recounts the oppression of the Jews under the despotic rule of Pharaoh Menapta (A. Weisse). With Divine Retribution, God punishes Menapta and his subjects by bringing about the Seven Deadly Plagues. Against this backdrop is played the romantic story of Hebrew girl Merapi (Maria Corda), the "Moon of Israel," and Prince Seti (Adelqui Miller), heir to the Egyptian throne. Suffering nobly at the hands of Menapta, Merapi survives the ordeal to become the wife of Seti, who promises fairer and more equitable treatment of her people. Die Slavenkoenigen was distributed in the U.S. by FBO Pictures, the energetic little precursor to RKO Radio.
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