Cast & Crew
Edwin S. Porter
After the wife of Leone, a Papal guardsman, drowns herself, mistakenly thinking that he has deserted her, their baby David is reared by nuns. Leone then enters a monastery and later becomes Pope Pius XI. Meanwhile, David is brought to London and made to beg and steal by a padrone, until he is saved by the Italian political refugee, Dr. Roselli, who rears him with his daughter Donna Roma. Years later, after the Italian Prime Minister Baron Bonelli has confiscated Roselli's estate and taken Donna Roma for his mistress, David, now a socialist leader, denounces Bonelli and his mistress before a crowd. Embarrassed and angered, Donna Roma plans to break David's heart, but when they learn they were childhood playmates, they fall in love and marry. David escapes Bonelli's plot to kill him, but when he thinks that Donna Roma has deceived him, he kills Bonelli. After Donna Roma accepts the blame, David, discovering that the pope is his father, persuades him to pardon her.
J. Albert Hall
The film, which marked Pauline Frederick's screen debut, was shot on location in England and Italy and included many scenes of Rome's most famous edifices. The costumes of the Noble Guard of the Roman Pontiff and the Swiss and Municipal Guards were reproduced for the film. Shown privately in New York on December 27, 1914, the film was not released until 1915. It had its first public showing in New York on April 12, 1915. The Select Film Booking Agency was organized by Famous Players Film Co. to distribute this film and others which were too long for their regular program. The picture was re-released on December 15, 1918 in five reels as part of Paramount's Success Series.