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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1951, director Cecil B. DeMille contacted Columbia Pictures studio head Harry Cohn about borrowing Rita Hayworth to star in a production of "Salome." Cohn essentially stole DeMille's idea, and made his own film. He told screenwriter Jesse Lasky Jr., "You have one weekend to come up with a story for this movie, or you're fired!" Over a weekend, Lasky wrote out a 50-page treatment that became the basis for the film. However, since Hayworth was a popular box office star, the original New Testament ending of the film was re-written to make Salome more sympathetic, and less of a femme fatale. 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 »
Lovely to watch, with a mesmerising Hayworth, but it is pedestrian in pace, and plays around with the biblical story
Salome certainly isn't a terrible film, far from it. But I do think, as a biblical epic it is flawed in many ways. The costumes and the scenery were a joy to the eyes, and the music was beautiful and a treat to the ears. The acting is pretty good too, with Stewart Granger handsome in his role, and Judith Anderson deliciously cruel as Herodias, though Anderson to be fair has given better performances in classics like And Then There Were None and Rebecca. Charles Laughton gives one of his career's weakest performances, but he is good as King Herod to some extent. The film's portrayal of John the Baptist from Alan Badel was also fine, but Salome's creme de la creme is Rita Hayworth in the title role. Entirely captivating and so beautiful, and she danced beautifully in Dance of the Seven Veils which also happens to be a scene from Richard Strauss's opera of the same name. However, the film's flaws include pedestrian pacing, an underdeveloped script and a story that suffers from a lot of tampering. Overall, deeply flawed, but watchable biblical film, that is worth watching if only for Hayworth and Dance of the Seven Veils. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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