Stephen Roberts

The Story of Temple Drake

The Story of Temple Drake

Loosely adapted from William Faulkner’s controversial novel Sanctuary, this notorious pre-Code melodrama stars Miriam Hopkins as Temple Drake, the coquettish granddaughter of a respected small-town judge. When a boozehound date strands her at a bootleggers’ hideout, Temple is subjected to an act of nightmarish sexual violence and plunged into a criminal underworld that threatens to swallow her up completely. Steeped in southern-gothic shadows by influential cinematographer Karl Struss and shot through with moral ambiguity, The Story of Temple Drake is a harrowing vision of sin and salvation that boasts an astonishing lead performance from the fiery Hopkins, whose passage through the stations of terror, trauma, and redemption is a true tour de force of screen acting.

Film Info

  • Stephen Roberts
  • United States
  • 1933
  • 71 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #1006

Special Features

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New program featuring a conversation between cinematographer John Bailey and Matt Severson, director of the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, about the film’s visual style, as well as archival materials relating to its production
  • New program featuring critic Imogen Sara Smith on the complexity of the film and its central performance by Miriam Hopkins
  • New interview with critic Mick LaSalle about the film, censorship, and the Production Code
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

Cover based on an original poster

Purchase Options

Released Dec 3, 2019

Special Features

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New program featuring a conversation between cinematographer John Bailey and Matt Severson, director of the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, about the film’s visual style, as well as archival materials relating to its production
  • New program featuring critic Imogen Sara Smith on the complexity of the film and its central performance by Miriam Hopkins
  • New interview with critic Mick LaSalle about the film, censorship, and the Production Code
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

Cover based on an original poster

The Story of Temple Drake
Cast
Miriam Hopkins
Temple Drake
William Gargan
Stephen Benbow
Jack La Rue
Trigger
Florence Eldridge
Ruby Lemarr
Guy Standing
Judge Drake
Irving Pichel
Lee Goodwin
Jobyna Howland
Miss Reba
William Collier Jr.
Toddy Gowan
Elizabeth Patterson
Aunt Jennie
James Eagles
Tommy
Credits
Director
Stephen Roberts
Produced by
Benjamin Glazer
Screenplay by
Oliver H. P. Garrett
From a novel by
William Faulkner
Photographed by
Karl Struss

From The Current

The Story of Temple Drake: Notorious
The Story of Temple Drake: Notorious

Often credited with inciting full enforcement of the Hays Code, this harrowing melodrama is one of the few Faulkner adaptations that successfully evokes the writer’s distinctive ambience and unsettling contradictions.

By Geoffrey O’Brien