GenreAdventure, Drama CinematographyJohn W. Boyle Duration
CastBetty Blythe (Queen of Sheba), Fritz Leiber (King Solomon), Claire de Lorez (Queen Amrath), George Siegmann (King Armud of Sheba) LanguageSilent film
English intertitles Release dateApril 10, 1921 (1921-04-10) WriterJ. Gordon Edwards, Virginia Tracy (story) GenresSilent film, Black-and-white, Indie film Similar moviesSolomon and Sheba (1959)
TaglineGigantic Spectacle and Story of the World's Greatest Love
The Queen of Sheba (1921) is a silent drama film produced by Fox studios about the story of the ill-fated romance between Solomon, King of Israel, and the Queen of Sheba. Written and directed by J. Gordon Edwards, it starred Betty Blythe as the Queen and Fritz Leiber, Sr. as King Solomon. The film is well known amongst silent film buffs for the risqué costumes worn by Blythe, as evidenced by several surviving stills taken during the production. This was a rarity in mainstream Hollywood films at the time. Only a short fragment of the film survives.
The film was originally intended for Theda Bara. However Bara chose not to renew her contract and, after making the ill-fated Kathleen Mavourneen, all but retired from film. While making Mavourneen, construction began on sets for The Queen of Sheba. Not wanting it to go to waste, William Fox chose to put Betty Blythe in the role. The film became a hit but Blythe never matched its success with her later films.
The topless scenes filmed in this movie were seen only in European release versions of the movie.
The film is presumed lost. A 1937 New Jersey vault fire destroyed most of the Fox silent film negatives and prints, and it is unlikely a copy of The Queen of Sheba exists. However, in May 2011, a 17-second fragment was found, and initially mistakenly identified as from Cleopatra (1917), though comparison with stills from the movie have since led to it being identified correctly.