Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus' homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares and delusions after the event. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, and still not believing in Jesus, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he killed. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Famous as the first film released in CinemaScope. It was not planned that way. After a week of shooting in standard "flat" Academy aspect ratio (1.37:1), the production was shut down. When production was resumed, they started from scratch, shooting alternate takes in both CinemaScope, and Academy format, on the assumption that not all theaters booking the film would be rushing to purchase expensive wide screens and stereophonic sound playback equipment. The film was released in CinemaScope only theatrically at first. In the 1990's this "flat" version was released to television (when "letterboxing" began to be used for widescreen films shown there). . See more »
In the sword fight between Marcellus Gallio and the Roman commander, there is a shot of Gallio holding his sword to the commander's throat, while the commander is on the ground. The sword is an obvious prop that is rounded on the end like a spatula. See more »
I have probably seen this film over 100 times, and I never tire of it nor does it fail to inspire my love of faith even more. Although the focus is not on Jesus directly, it is through the great talents of the actors, writers and director that the focus IS placed back on Jesus' effect on the lives of the movie characters.
There is not a single performer in this film who is not brilliant. Richard Burton turns in a superb & convincing performance as Marcellus, the Roman tribune whose life is a meaningless series of women and wine until fate gives him faith. And there is no more beautiful actress ever than Jean Simmons as Diana. (I even named my only daughter Diana because of the effect that this character had on me as a child; Diana defined beauty to me.) But my favorite by far was Victor Mature's Demetrius, a role which was so beloved at the time, that the sequel of Demetrius and the Gladiators began filming soon after The Robe was released to critical and popular acclaim. Mr. Mature's portrayal of Demetrius, a Greek slave who would only see Jesus, yet be changed permanently by His glance, helped develop my faith in me as a child.
All of the other performances are excellent and uplifting. It is a great movie to watch with the family and explain all the different ways faith was given to each of the characters. It is a visually stunning film, with beautiful and haunting music (score by Hollywood musical genius Alfred Newman), and one that stands the test of time (I've been watching it for over 40 years.)
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