Sadie Thompson is a 1928 American silent drama film that tells the story of a “fallen woman” who comes to Pago Pago on the island of Tutuila to start a new life, but encounters a zealous missionary who wants to force her back to her former life in San Francisco.
The film stars Gloria Swanson, Lionel Barrymore, and Raoul Walsh, and is one of Swanson’s most successful films.
Due to the subject matter, the making of the film was extremely controversial. However, it was a financial and critical success for Swanson. The film was based on the 1921 short story “Rain” by W. Somerset Maugham and the 1922 play that was based on the book by John Colton and Clemence Randolph, starring Jeanne Eagels.
Swanson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and George Barnes for Best Cinematography at the 1st Academy Awards for this film. Swanson did not attend the ceremony, and always felt it was like “comparing apples to oranges.”
These vintage photos captured portrait of Gloria Swanson during the filming of Sadie Thompson in 1928.