Cast & Crew
Cecil B. Demille
Crichton, an educated man who is the butler to Lord Loam, secretly loves the lord's daughter, Lady Mary Lasenby, while the pleasant scullery maid Tweeny loves Crichton. After Lord Loam's yacht wrecks, his family and servants become stranded on a South Sea island. The lord attempts to lead the others, but Crichton takes over when he fails. After Crichton saves Lady Mary from a leopard attack, she falls in love with him. He tells her a Babylonian legend in which a Christian slave girl dies in a lion's den rather than abandon her religion to become the concubine of the king. Just as Lady Mary is about to marry Crichton, they are rescued. In England, Lady Mary's love for Crichton remains strong, but when Crichton sees that Lady Eileen Dun Craigie is made a social outcast when she marries a chauffeur, he announces that he will marry Tweeny. Afterward they go to America where birth does not always determine social position.
Cecil B. Demille
Edna Mae Cooper
The play originally opened in London on 4 November 1902
The leopard, which Thomas Meighen is carrying in the movie, was actually a real, living leopard. It had killed a man in a nearby zoo, and was to be put to sleep, but De mille refused to have it killed. They then drugged the Leopard with chloroform, and let the actor act out a scene, carrying the leopard on his shoulder.
Elliott Dexter was originally slated to play Crichton, but he suffered a nervous breakdown and did not take the role. Some scenes were shot on the Santa Cruz Islands, CA. According to Exhibitor's Trade Review, the film's length is 8,709 feet, while Wid's reports it as 8,860 feet. Major Ian Hay Beith worked with DeMille and Macpherson to help make the atmosphere correctly British. According to modern sources, the film editor was Anne Bauchens. According to an interview with Mitchell Leisen, he designed costumes for only the Babylonian sequence. According to an interview with James Wong Howe, he was the third assistant cameraman on this film.
Many versions of this story have been made, including Shipwrecked, a three reel 1913 Kalem film starring Anna Q. Nilsson and Guy Coombs, The Admirable Crichton, a 1918 British production directed by G. B. Samuelson and starring Basil Gill, We're Not Dressing, a 1934 Paramount musical directed by Norman Taurog and starring Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40) and Paradise Lagoon (U.S. title), a 1957 British-American co-production directed by Lewis Gilbert and featuring Kenneth More as Crichton.