The Queen of Sheba

date 1921
by J. Gordon Edwards, director; Betty Blythe, actress
medium Promotional film still

Director J. Gordon Edwards cast actress Betty Blythe to succeed silent film star Theda Bara in his production of The Queen of Sheba (1921) for Fox Studios. Tired of the vamp persona he had developed with Bara, Edwards turned Blythe into a scantily clad exotic beauty for his historical epic. The witty Blythe reportedly said of her wardrobe in The Queen of Sheba, "they made 40 costumes for me, and if I had them all on at once, I would still be chilly in the desert. " Her sexy turn in The Queen of Sheba soon made Blythe into a star. Having spent years in various forms of undress for directors in films such as Sheba and She (1925), Blythe once joked that a director was "the only man besides your husband who can tell you how many of your clothes to take off."1

1 Kevin Brownlow, The Parade's Gone By (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968), 70.