The Prodigal

Synopsis: A young Hebrew named Micah, unsatisfied with his father's rural life, demands his inheritance so he can try his luck in the city. Once in the city he falls under the spell of a beautiful pagan priestess who induces him to squander his money and betray his faith. Only after many trials and tribulations does Micah recover his senses and return home to his forgiving father.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Richard Thorpe
Production: MGM
112 min

In the times before Christianity,

only a few people believed in one God.

Most people believed in many gods.

It was mainly the believers in Jehovah

who stood against a multitude

of some 65,000 strange and different gods.

Of these, two of the most notorious

were Baal and Astarte,

the male and the female.

Gods of the flesh, not of the soul.

They were supposed to renew

the fertility of the earth every year.

In exchange,

they demanded of their believers

the sacrifice of money,

jewelry and human life.

Out of these times comes our story,

based upon the parable of the prodigal son

as told in Luke, Chapter 15.

This is the seaport of Joppa,

in the year 70 B.C.

- Who is he?

- A slave, a runaway slave.

Then he shouldn't be too expensive.

- What's his price?

- I have my orders. There is no price.

He must die.

- Why?

- Ask him why.

He's a mute. He has no tongue.

But you have a tongue. Use it.

For the last time, what's his price?

He cost my master 20 pieces of silver.

- Joram, my purse is empty.

- As always.

So as always,

I could make use of a little loan.

Twenty pieces of silver, according to him.

Our father did not tell us

to bring home any slaves.

True. But he's always told us,

- "He who loves his fellow man is of...' '

- "The true seed of Abraham.' '

You always have an answer.

Don't kneel there like a fool. You're free.

Take my advice.

Get as far away from here

as you can. Here.

You've managed to find trouble

in every town from Petra to here.

You've managed to frown in every town

from Petra to here.

The level of the well is high,

the field is parched.

Let the west field be watered now, today.

Father, this man is hurt.


We pulled a spear out of his shoulder.

Caleb, put him in the large chamber.

Be sure that his bed is warm.

And, Caleb, give him hot broth

when he opens his eyes.

- Who is he?

- A runaway slave.

He cost Micah 20 pieces of silver

and very nearly a spear through the heart.

But as you've so often told us...

"He who loves his fellow man

is of the true seed of Abraham.' '."

True words,

even if they do come back to taunt me.

How went the journey to Petra?

As for gold and silver, better than usual.

As for Micah learning anything

from the trip, he learned.

Nothing about business but all about

every wine between here and Petra.

Your family, Joram.

You keep them waiting.

Miriam! Deborah! David!

I ate half the sand of the desert

and brought the other half with me.

I need a wash.

Scrub well, Micah.

A man cannot be too clean

for his betrothal.

- Again?

- Again.

A wife.

Whom have you chosen?

The daughter

of our good neighbor, Tobiah.

- Ruth?

- While you were away I spoke to Tobiah.

Tomorrow morning we visit them

to draw up the betrothal contract.

Have I chosen well?

A sensible choice, Father.

I admire her, respect her,

more than any other.

But it's difficult to

find the proper words.

We've always understood each other,

whatever the words.

You mean to say you don't love her.

I did not see your mother

until the day of our betrothal.

And yet...

I know how lonely it's been

for you without her.

Not when you're with me, Micah.

You've Rachel's spirit and her love of

life. Come, get on with your washing.

- Then we'll say the evening prayer...

- And eat.

I'm hungry enough to devour

a whole fatted calf.

"According to the Law of Moses

and of lsrael,

"on this seventh day

of the month of Nisan,

"a holy betrothal is entered into between

Micah ben Eli and Ruth bat Tobiah,

"whereby he doth promise to please,

"to honor, to nourish and to care for her."

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Joseph Breen

Joseph Ignatius Breen (October 14, 1888 – December 5, 1965) was an American film censor with the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America who applied the Hays Code to film production. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Prodigal" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <>.

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