the biblical story of Joseph (geoffrey horne) sold into slavery by his jealous brothers
So you're watching that old classic Bridge On the River Kwai, and begin to wonder what ever happened to Geoffrey Horne, the young male lead who holds his own against such top talents as Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins and Sessue Hayakawa? One might figure that with a blockbuster like that behind you, any actor ought to be able to move on to major work. Didn't happen in this case, and while Horne has had a long history of small roles in both movies and TV, he only received the lead in one movie that was released to theatres in the U.S., and it's a pretty bad one at that. He's Joseph, the lad whose father gave him a coat of many colors, in this miniscule 'epic' that tried to find a place for itself at a time when Biblical films were huge at the box office - Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, Barabbas, King of Kings, The Greatest Story Ever Told, etc. etc. Don't expect the kind of sweeping vistas, spectacular action, and attention to period detail here that you do in any of those. An Italian-American co-production, this does benefit from Robert Morley doing his plump/effete bit as a cruel slave holder and the sadly forgotten Belinda Lee (she died young in a car accident) as that man's gorgeous, sexually frustrated wife who throws herself at the slave Joseph. The entire Biblical story is told, dreams and all, but its a paint by numbers, run of the mill job, without so much as decent pacing much less good dialogue. What might have helped immensely is if the brothers had been developed as individuals rather than reduced to a mere mob. Too bad, because here's a story worth telling - and, from the evidence in Kwai, there was an actor worth developing!
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