With the exception of Joan the Woman, which contained a "contemporary" subplot, The Woman God Forgot was Cecil B. DeMille's first all-out historical spectacular. The story is set in Mexico during the reign of Emperor Montezuma (Raymond Hatton). Upon his arrival on Mexican soil, Spanish conquistador Cortez (Hobart Bosworth) sends Captain Alvarado (Wallace Reid) to the imperial palace with a demand for Montezuma's surrender. The emperor immediately puts Alvarado in chains, but he is rescued by Montezuma's daughter Tecza (Geraldine Farrar), who has fallen in love with the young Spaniard. This does not rest well with Tecza's parent-appointed fiance Guatemoco (Theodore Kosloff), who prepares to sacrifice Alvarado to the Aztec gods. To save her sweetheart, Tecza leads Cortez' army into battle against her own father. The price of her devotion to Alvarado is the total destruction of the Aztec empire, but rather than die herself (which would seem to be the logical denouement given the sequence of events), Tecza is permitted to live happily onward with her one true love. Though she was not exactly sylphlike, opera diva Geraldine Farrar wore her revealing costumes quite well, establishing a precedent for such later underdressed DeMille leading ladies as Gloria Swanson, Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamarr.
by Hal Erickson synopsis