For an actress, to do a nude scene in the 1920s was unthinkable. This almost guaranteed that controversy would surround the picturization of Tennyson's poem. But Godiva's naked ride in this German-made film was tame stuff, and what was left was an overlong costume drama with limited appeal. The plot, however, did stay close to the poem, except that it gave more importance to the court jester. In England's feudal times, Leofic, an evil earl, forces the beautiful Godiva (Hedda Vernon) to marry him -- no matter that she is already promised to architect John Dryer, who has been working on the Earl's castle. Because Godiva refuses to do her wifely duty, the earl cruelly mistreats her. He also demands the capture of Dryer and orders that all the homes in the village will be burned if he is not returned in two hours. Godiva offers to perform any sacrifice to prevent the people's suffering and the earl orders her to ride naked in the streets. Dryer returns and is about to be executed when the castle tumbles down, killing everyone in it. Godiva is saved because she was warned to leave by the court jester and she reunites with Dryer.
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