An American in London, down on his luck, runs into a beautiful blonde in a bar who offers him a lot of money to marry her. Broke and unemployed, he takes her up on it. When he wakes up the ... See full summary »
Volker von Alzey, the royal bard of the Burgunds (far greater then modern Burgundy), ruled by the Christian, papist king Gunther, who has two brave, loyal brothers and a sister Kriemhild, ... See full summary »
A young officer in the army of Empress Catherine of Russia is on his way to his new duty station at a remote outpost. During a blinding snowstorm he comes upon a stranger who was caught in ... See full summary »
Three thieves rip off a shipment of used money being sent back to the US. As they are escaping the robbery (after having taken a hostage), they wind up on an island in a hotel with an ... See full summary »
There is no way to write a "spoiler"---is there actually somebody somewhere who, ten minutes into this 1950's film, wouldn't know where it is going and will end up---since it is a strictly ... See full summary »
Jocko De Paris, cadet leader in a Southern military academy, so manipulates events that George Avery, Jr., son of the school's executive officer, is found drunk and expelled. Through ... See full summary »
Peter Mark Richman
Raffaele Capece, un insegnante di mandolino, fa il posteggiatore nei locali pubblici. Ha due guai incurabili : ha una gamba offesa ed un padre inguaribile giocatore, che sperpera al lotto ... See full summary »
Joseph AND HIS BRETHREN (Irving Rapper and Luciano Ricci, 1960) **
In the wake of the adoption of the Widescreen process and the consequent increase in popularity of the Biblical subgenre within the realm of the Epic, stories from the Old and New Testament became a much-raided Hollywood commodity during the 1950s and 1960s. It was only a matter of time before the ultra-Catholic Italians got onto the bandwagon and grew another branch into their own in-house brand of the epic that was renamed the peplum.
As would eventually became the custom, veteran Hollywood film-makers – among them Frank Borzage, Raoul Walsh, Jacques Tourneur and Edgar G. Ulmer – were engaged to supervise the production of these cheaper Italian epics and so it is that Irving Rapper – best-known for the schmaltzy but solid Bette Davis vehicles NOW, VOYAGER (1942) and DECEPTION (1946) – became involved with bringing to the big-screen the story of Joseph; subsequently, he would be employed in a similar capacity on PONTIUS PILATE (1962). While the co-director here was one Luciano Ricci – who would later (under the alias of Herbert Wise) be the officially credited director of THE CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD (1964) despite the reported intervention of two others! – the actors who came on board Joseph AND HIS BRETHREN were far better known. Chief among them were Robert Morley (ludicrously hamming it up as Potiphar) and genre staple Finlay Currie (as a dignified Jacob), while the younger roles were entrusted to an eclectic bunch: Geoffrey Horne (in the title role), Belinda Lee (as Potiphar’s deceitful wife, she featured in several of these Italian cheapies and would eventually die tragically within a year in a road accident), Arturo Domenici (as Potiphar’s ambitious counsellor), Terence Hill (as Joseph’s younger brother Benjamin) and Dante Di Paolo (as the main schemer among Joseph’s jealous brothers).
One may wonder why I’m talking about everything else but the film and, unfortunately, that’s because it is no great shakes. While the story was good enough to be remade thrice on celluloid – as a 1974 TV movie by Michael Cacoyannis, yet again for TV in 1995 and as a Dreamworks animated feature in 2000 – not to mention revamped as a musical extravaganza on the stage, the version under review is dreary, dull and unmemorable. Small wonder, then that the film has fallen into public domain and is available on various budget DVDs in an English-dubbed, pan-and-scan, washed out print which further serves to alienate the viewer.
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