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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was first telecast on US television on Easter weekend, 1968. Not only was the ABC-TV telecast aired at an early hour (7:00 PM EST) to facilitate family viewing, but it aired with only one commercial break, an unheard-of concession for the time. See more »
Caligula is depicted in this movie and its sequel "Demetrius and the Gladiators" as persecuting Christians. However, he reigned from 37 to 41, while Christianity was still a nascent religion with most of its followers in the eastern Mediterranean. The first mention of Christians from the perspective of the Roman government, according to the Roman historian Suetonius, wasn't until the reign of his successor Claudius (reigned 41-54). The first major incidents of persecution of Christians did not occur until the reign of Nero (reigned 54-68). 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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