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TitleFilm - William Fox Presents 'Queen of Sheba' - A Lavish Spectacle-Drama
Performance Date24 January 1922
Performance DayTuesday
Set ListFilm Screening - 'Queen of Sheba', dir. J Gordon Edwards (1921, 90mins)
Let TypeOrdinary Let
Performance NotesThe Queen of Sheba was a silent movie produced by Fox Studios about the story of the ill-fated romance between Solomon, King of Israel and the Queen of Sheba. It starred Betty Blythe as Sheba, who became known for her risqué costumes and Fritz Leiber as King Solomon. It was shown at the Royal Albert Hall for eight nights but no print of the film survives.

In January 1922, the Royal Albert Hall became the talk of the town when it played host to an extremely lavish and risqué silent Hollywood movie – Fox studios’ Queen of Sheba. It was the Queen of Sheba’s costumes that raised the most comments, modelled by silent film star Betty Blythe, who had become famous as the first actress to appear nude on film. Although no print of the film survives apart from a very short grainy clip – it was reported that Blyth wore 28 different diaphanous outfits, and at one point famously only a string of pearls above the waist! With casts of some 2 or 3 thousand people, the film portrayed scenes of a size and spectacle never seen in the UK before, but The Times commented that ‘the producers had lavished all their money on the spectacles, and when they came to the costumes of the Queen of Sheba herself they had only small change left!’ (The Times, 16 January 1922). The costumes, or lack thereof, raised eyebrows, however it was the religious nature of the film that led the London County Council to demand that the Queen of Sheba was screened as an “Adult Only” film only after protests by church leaders. Shown as an ‘Eastern Legend’ and not as a bible story, the film was shown at the Hall from 21-27 January, and attracted HRH the Duke of Kent (the future King George VI) and Mrs Lloyd George.

Screen and projection by Mr Noakes.
Related Archival MaterialProgramme (RAHE/1/1922/6)

Related Names

Ref NoTitleNumber of PerformancesEvent PromoterSponsor
AirabiohydidurFilm - William Fox Presents 'Queen of Sheba' - A Lavish Spectacle-Drama8William Fox