Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Enterprising roadshow exhibitor Kroger Babb was largely responsible for the jerry-built "feature film" The Lawton Story. Most of the footage is devoted to the annual Passion Play at Lawton, Oklahoma, enacted by volunteers from several nearby communities. This portion of The Lawton Story was directed by Harold Daniels and narrated by radio announcer Knox Manning. To bring the film up to feature length, a fictional plotline concerning the preparations for the pageant was hastily assembled, featuring such familiar Hollywood character players as Forrest Taylor, Willa Pearl Curtis and Maude Eburne. These "wraparound" scenes were directed by old reliable William Beaudine. Certain recent publications have mercilessly poked fun at The Lawton Story, pointing out such "mistakes" as the telephone wires behind the crucified Jesus and the wristwatches worn by some of the Passion Play performers. Nowhere do these derisive accounts acknowledge that the audience is made aware that this is not meant to be a historical spectacle, but is in fact a filmed record of an outdoor-theater production. The Lawton Story is better known by its general-release title The Prince of Peace.
Easter, holiday, pageant, town