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The Robe (1953)

Unrated | | Drama, History | 4 December 1953 (France)
In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

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(screenplay), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Diana
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Jay Robinson ...
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Justus
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Sen. Gallio
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Miriam
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Paulus
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Junia
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Abidor
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The First Picture on the New Miracle Curved Screen ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Das Gewand  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$36,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although widely regarded as the first film produced in the anamorphic CinemaScope format (along with How To Marry A Millionaire), that honour actually belongs to a French film shot in the late-1920s called Construire Un Feu (To Build A Fire). Based on a Jack London story and directed by Claude Autant-Lara, it utilised a lens developed by French astronomer Henri Chrétien and was patented as the Hypergonar process.

Bizarrely, higher-ups in the French film industry demanded that cinema owners stop showing the film, even threatening them with a revocation of their exhibition license should they not comply immediately. This perhaps explains why there are no surviving prints of this landmark film: indeed, only a scant handful of frames exist to this day.

In 1955, Chrétien received an Academy Award for his work on CinemaScope. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene in the Roman Forum there is a statue of the Roman poet, Antinuous, who was not born until 80 years or so after Christ's death. See more »

Quotes

Demetrius: [awaking to darkness] Is it night?
Jerusalem woman aiding Demetrius: No. It's the middle of the day. This isn't like other days.
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Connections

Referenced in The Omen Legacy (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A half-forgotten landmark
27 April 1999 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

There seems to be little interest in this movie today but when originally released in 1953, it created a sensation and threatened, for a while, to replace "Gone With the Wind" as the highest-grossing film in history. And it was the first movie in CinemaScope -- "The Modern Entertainment Miracle You See Without the Use of Glasses!" Its opening half still plays well, even some 50 years later, but the second half tries to convincingly present the religious conversion of Marcellus -- a tricky proposition since it deals with an internal process -- and the result plays like a well-intentioned but rather simplistic Sunday sermon. Richard Burton was Oscar-nominated for his work but is clearly outshone by, of all people, Victor Mature as the slave, Demetrius. The scene of a sweaty, nearly naked Demetrius groaning and writhing under torture in a Roman dungeon helped establish Mature as "the back that launched a thousand whips." (The book "Lash! The Hundred Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies" is dedicated to him.) Mature played Demetrius again in one of the rare big-budget sequels of the 1950s, "Demetrius and the Gladiators," which wasn't very good but which was livelier and more "fun" than its pious predecessor.


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