The California desert subs for overseas locations.
I saw this one during its initial release at a theater in Palm Springs, California (now used only for stage shows and live presentations...one has to go a few miles out of the downtown area to find a multiplex, at least during my last visit there a year or so ago.) The 70mm cinematography (using the same units, borrowed presumably from M-G-M, that had been shipped to Rome to lens "Ben-Hur" - in "M-G-M Camera 65"
a "Window of the World" as the studio had touted it for the first
production in that process, 1957's "Raintree County" starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift) is stunning, making great use of the Salton Sea area, a few miles from Palm Springs itself. I don't remember this film all that well, but I do recall that Herbert Lom and Martha Hyer, as Herod Antipas and his evil consort, Herodias, achieved chillingly corrupt portrayals, under the steady hand of old Hollywood veteran, Frank Borzage.
One wonders who now holds the rights to this film, for it would certainly be a title that might do well given a good transfer to DVD.
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