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In the reign of emperor Tiberius, Gallilean prophet John the Baptist preaches against King Herod and Queen Herodias. The latter wants John dead, but Herod fears to harm him due to a prophecy. Enter beautiful Princess Salome, Herod's long-absent stepdaughter. Herodias sees the king's dawning lust for Salome as her means of bending the king to her will. But Salome and her lover Claudius are (contrary to Scripture) nearing conversion to the new religion. And the famous climactic dance turns out to have unexpected implications... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
This was the last film produced by Rita Hayworth's production company, the Beckworth Company. Hayworth later called her "Dance of the Seven Veils" in this film, "the most demanding [dance] of my entire career," and said it required "endless takes and retakes." See more »
In one scene, outside the walls of Jerusalem, with the "skyline" of the old city beyond the walls, you can see the golden Dome of the Rock, which wasn't built until more than 600 years after this story takes place. See more »
Don't bother watching this film for historical accuracy. Watch it instead for entertainment value only and to see why Rita Hayworth was worshipped as a Goddess.
You can almost feel the debauchery oozing out of Charles Laughton's Herod as he oils his way through the film. And Judith Anderson's Queen Herodias is completely over the top, but you can see where she's coming from and that she's a product of her circumstances. Stewart Granger is almost out of place here as he's the only one not seriously hamming it up, but he still does a relatively convincing job as Commander Claudius, improving as the film progresses.
I love this film for the wonderful elocution-lesson delivery of the dialogue and the gloriously artificial colouring which give a lovely fantasy recreation of biblical times: even though bad things happen, they just don't seem that bad. And even after all these years Rita Hayworth's dancing is a vision to behold for men and women alike.
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