Robe [1953]

The Bible John Huston adapted the first 22 chapters of the Book of Genesis in this mostly silly 1966 film that takes us from Creation through Noah's Ark through Abraham's near-sacrifice of son Isaac. This is one of Huston's more personally distant projects, à la Annie or Victory; and for the most part you'd barely know there was even a director involved. On the other hand, Huston does provide some of the only liveliness on screen, playing Noah. --Tom Keogh The Robe When Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton) is sent to Jerusalem, one of his assignments is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Marcellus, a cynical and hardened man, wins the robe Jesus wore to the crucifixion while gambling with other Roman soldiers underneath the dying savior. He later becomes convinced that his hallucinations and violent outbursts are the result of a curse received from the robe, which is now in the possession of his escaped slave, Demetrius (Victor Mature), somewhere in the Middle East. He sets out to find Demetrius in order to destroy the robe and the curse and finds faith instead, converting to Christianity. This was the first movie to be filmed in CinemaScope and won Oscars in 1953 for costume design, art direction, and set decoration. The visual aspects of the film are stunning, and it may be worth viewing for that alone; however, the script and acting leave much to be desired, and you won't find inspiration in these areas if that's what interests you. If, however, you are more interested in this film for its religious matter, the story of the conversion of the hardened Marcellus is inspiring. --James McGrath

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