Noah’s Ark has touches reminiscent of Ten Commandments, King of Kings, Wings, The Big Parade and quite a few other [1920s] screen epics. Better than $1.5 million was reported to have been spent on this film.
The Warner staff show everything conceivable under the sun – mobs, mobs and mobs; Niagaras of water; train wreck; war aplenty; crashes; deluges and everything. Nothing is missed from ‘way back when folks thought that praying to the real God instead of Jehovah was the right thing until Noah got the message from above that it was not.
The story opens with scenes showing what is left of the world after the big deluge. It then drifts into the age where folks worshipped the Golden Calf and their lust for gold. It flashes modern to the extent of bringing to the fore the selfish motive of man. A flash is shown of the stock exchange in New York on a panicky day. A guy gets bumped off.
Then they hop to Europe. The scene is the Orient Express from Constantinople to Paris just as the First World War is in the air. There are folks of every nationality on the train. War is the topic.
Talk does not enter into the picture until after the first 35 minutes. It starts with love scene between George O’Brien and Dolores Costello and then brings in talk by Wallace Beery, Paul McAllister and Guinn Williams. The Costello voice hurts the impression made by her silent acting.
Beery is great as the Russian spy and as the King. McAllister, an old stage trouper, has a hard job with biblical quotations which are overdone. Voice okay but talk just a bit too much.