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Sodom and Gomorrah
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Sodom and Gomorrah More at IMDbPro »

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34 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Neglected Biblical spectacle is great fun for fans of the genre

Author: DrLenera from UK
11 March 2006

Sodom and Gomorrah was a big flop when it was released and has been almost forgotten since then. This is a shame. It's certainly no classic like Ben Hur or Spartacus,and it has the obvious flaws many films like this share-corny dialogue,women's make-up and hair which betrays the decade the film was made in,to name but two-but if you like this kind of film it's very entertaining and worth a watch. At times you could swear De Mille directed it,but it was actually directed by Robert Aldrich,a real curio in his career.

The first hour does dawdle along a little,but the middle of the film contains a very lengthy battle sequence which is extremely impressive. In these days of CGI,it's great to see hundreds of REAL people fighting on the screen,and it's great the way the battle is in stages and shows various tactics by the two sides instead of just being a chaotic mess. The climatic destruction {well,it's based on a well known Bible story, so I don't think this is a spoiler!} of the twin cities of Sodom and Gommorah {although we only seem to see Sodom} is still quite a well achieved spectacle,in fact technically the film still generally holds up,except for a few very unconvincing shots when an army is engulfed in water.

Those who find some of the film a little heavy can enjoy the odd touch of vivid sadism {people on a wheel lowered into fire,a prisoner threatened by a blind man whose armour produces spikes when he breaths} and plenty of references to the 'sins' of the Sodomites-nothing is explicit,but things such as incest,sexual servitude and lesbianism are certainly hinted at. Yet the Hebrews,by comparison,are such a dull humourless lot,one might occasionally sympathise with the Sodomites,and this was maybe intended. As with most of Aldrich's films,it's actually quite cynical,and doesn't take easy sides.

Stuart Granger is fine as Lot but it's the underrated Stanley Baker,as the scheming Astorath who chases anything in a skirt, who gives the stand-out performance,memorably corrupt. One should also mention Miklos Rozsa's superb score which ranks along side his other classic scores for related films like Ben Hur and El Cid. He superbly evokes the period and setting whilst providing a gorgeous love theme and a number of other great themes. Of course it's very melodramatic,but it suits the film!

Sodom and Gomorrah exists in several heavily cut down versions which may quicken the pace but are extremely choppy,often cutting into scenes when they are obviously half way through. The full 155-odd minute version is sometimes shown,and is available in some countries on DVD,but really demands a proper,remastered,etc. release. It's really worth seeing,as long as you like this kind of stuff of course!

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16 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

How Are Things in Sodom and Gomorrah? Is the salt still springing there?

6/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
9 February 2006

With the filming of Sodom and Gomorrah, Stewart Granger began a phase of his career on the European continent. Not that Sodom and Gomorrah is any great film, but it was certainly better than some of those spaghetti westerns he did in the Sixties to pay for his hedonistic life style. Something like the one they allegedly lived down Sodom way.

Of course Sodom and Gomorrah doesn't stick to the biblical version of the tale, but then neither did those DeMille epics, Samson and Delilah and The Ten Commandments. Nor is homosexuality singled out as THE sin that got the Deity all upset that he wanted to destroy the place. Then again it isn't even in the Bible.

Lot as portrayed by Stewart Granger doesn't take just his family there, he leads a whole tribe of Hebrew people there after he parts from Uncle Abraham. Pretty soon he gets all tangled up in Sodomite politics and gets a bit entangled himself with Pier Angeli who is a slave girl to Queen Anouk Aimee.

Villain of the piece is Stanley Baker who always improves every film he was ever in. He's Anouk's brother and he's got the idea he ought to be running things. He's also got an eye for Lot's daughters.

There's a very nicely staged battle sequence with the Hebrews defending the land granted them by Anouk. But the script is definitely out of the Cecil B. DeMille school of arcane Victorian writing.

Still it's entertaining in many respects.

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17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

NOT DEMILLE OR WYLER BUT RESPECTABLE NONETHELESS.

Author: ALAN MOUNT from CARDIFF, WALES
29 August 1999

This is one of the lesser seen biblical epics and has not been shown in Britain for many years.It is,however,a worthy edition to this particular genre of epic and is splendidly mounted by Robert Aldrich who elicits fine performances from all the cast,particularly Anouk Aimee as the evil queen of Sodom.The action scenes are spectacularly realised with a battle halfway through which is superbly well orchestrated and is one of the best of its type.Stewart Granger,an under-rated and imposing actor(in the Heston mode)is very good as the Hebrew leader Lot and convinces as a leader of men;especially when he implores to his people "DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELVES TO BEND TO THE SODOMITES";perhaps the wisest advice ever uttered by a screen character!

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining Bible fare...

8/10
Author: Honus1 from Cathedral City, CA
11 September 2003

Having always been a sap for those hokey Bible epics, it's no surprise I found 'Sodom' quite entertaining. Loosely based on the Scriptures, the last days of the doomed cities are presented by a host of mediocre actors, pretty good special effects and a fine music score by Miklos Rozsa. (This would be the last Bible flic he would score). The subject matter might be considered racy for its time with hints of homosexuality, rather graphic torture and incest. Stewart Granger is a bit out of place in this one, but there's enough going on that you don't really notice. The buildup to the city's destruction and the final cataclysm are pretty well done and all in all, not a bad flic if you don't take it too seriously.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Better than I expected

Author: Tom Paine from Ft Worth, TX
6 July 1999

For its day and for its genre this is a pretty good film. It does show how easy it is for people to slide to the wrong side. It also did not simplistically link the 'sin of Sodom' to homosexuality (it was total self indulgence and inhospitality according the the Bible). One item that was historically incorrect was the idea that the ancient Hebrews were opposed to slavery. That would be wonderful if it had been true but unfortunately it was not.

AMC showed this in early July 99. If you are interested in seeing it, tune in.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Sin and unspeakable vice!

6/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
8 April 2006

Mammoth, quite colorful and entertaining French-Italian Biblical spectacle chronicling the wars surrounding--and the eventual demise of--the twin cities. Stewart Granger plays Hebrew leader Lot, caught in the middle as his people's village is burned to the ground and the only place to go is across the lake with the wicked and the tempting. Battle sequences and an impressive flood are worthy of DeMille, though the melodramatics are just as heavy and silly, with the subtext of sexual evil tiptoed around. Good performances, excellent usage of Moroccan locales, and with an unflagging direction by Robert Aldrich (who reportedly fired his 2nd unit director, Sergio Leone, mid-production). **1/2 from ****

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Interesting & Entertaining but Bible purists will object.

Author: DJRicky from Charleston, WV
17 January 2000

An overlooked movie of a whole genre of films that was popular during its era. Like most biblical epics of this type they sometimes wonder away from the scriptural story as recorded in the Bible and this may be its one drawback. In a way it drifts just a little to far away from the scriptures so most bible purists will have trouble accepting this film as a close representation of the scriptures. However, overall it's an interesting and entertaining film.

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

One of the better biblical tales on film

Author: Troy Whigham (troyair@aol.com) from Florida, USA
23 July 1999

I have to admit that I've never been able to see this film in one sitting all the way through, partly because I happen to just channel surf on TV and stumble upon it after its started and partly because I seem to catch it about an hour before I go to bed and miss the ending. Still, from what I've seen, this is a very good film about Lot, who led the Hebrew people to a fertile land on the border of the cities of Sodom and Gomorroah. Anouk Aimee does a great job portraying the queen of the cities, and Stewart Granger plays a great Lot. The supporting actors and actresses contribute quite a bit of talent as well, but what really struck me was the costumes. For a 1962 biblical film, some of the outfits that the actresses wore were a bit racy, but that is intentional as it shows the sinful ways of the city-dwellers as opposed to the practical costumes of the hard-working free Hebrews (in fact, Lot has a discussion with a slave girl who is struggling to adapt to the ways of field work and field dress after living a captive life as a well-kept palace servant). The fight scenes are particularly well done, employing a cast of thousands as opposing armies and refugees. The scene where the Hebrews defend themselves by first lighting a pit of oil and then breaking a dam to flood a valley are well done. Even though the story may not follow the tale as told in the Bible, there's enough of it there that the viewer comes away with the overall concept of the story. But - I feel that this movie could be redone to stick a bit closer to the original tale. While the queen and her brother may have been evil, there just wasn't enough evil in the cities (limited by 1962 values, I suppose) to warrant their destruction. A good film for the whole family. No nudity, no harsh language.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Bible-Based But Fictional Tale Which Did Not Draw Me In

3/10
Author: WordWeaver777 from Guam
20 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just completed watching the original 154-minute version of this film.

Aside from the fact that it features a character named Lot, along with his wife who is ultimately transformed into a pillar of salt, Lot's two daughters, the brief appearance of what we assume to be two Angels, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, there is very little in the storyline which adheres to or resembles the account which we find in Genesis 18:16-19:38 in the Bible. In short, 99.9% of this movie is pure fiction.

Let me give you a few examples.

In the Scriptures, it is the Patriarch Abraham who has a conversation with the Lord and two of His Angels, and who begs the Lord to spare the two wicked cities if even ten righteous men can be found in them. However, in this movie, it is Lot who has this conversation. Furthermore, while Abraham is briefly mentioned once or twice, he is nowhere to be seen whatsoever.

In the Bible, Lot's two daughters are both already married when it comes time to flee from Sodom. Furthermore, when Lot warns their husbands to leave Sodom, they both mock him. As a result, only Lot, his wife and his two daughters flee from Sodom, escorted by the two Angels. In contrast, in this movie, Lot leads a whole band of obedient Hebrews out of Sodom just prior to the city's destruction, and the two Angels are nowhere in sight.

While the Bible makes clear that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality -- for example, see Genesis 19:4-8 where the word "know" implies engaging in sex -- this is not made evident in the movie. There is some evidence in the film which suggests sexual immorality. For example, in the opening frames we see people -- male and female -- laying all over the place, suggesting that they have just engaged in an orgy. Later on, it is also implied that the queen of Sodom has engaged in a lesbian relationship with one of her dancers. Finally, we are given to understand that the queen's brother has sexually abused both of Lot's daughters. Nevertheless, there is no outright hint that the people of Sodom engaged in homosexuality.

There are other problems with the plot in regards to the Scriptures, but I will leave it at that.

Aside from the fact that most of the movie is pure fiction -- including the long-drawn-out battle seen -- another problem I had is that I simply did not connect with any of the characters. I felt no empathy for any of them. As a result, because I had no emotional investment in any of them, even when Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt, it really didn't affect me in the least.

Regarding the actors' performances, I didn't find any of it outstanding; not even Stewart Granger's or Pier Angeli's.

In conclusion, if you view this film with a low expectation that it will adhere closely to the Bible, you may possibly enjoy it. However, if you are like me and Biblical accuracy is important to you, you may watch it once out of curiosity, but then never watch it again.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully Well Made

8/10
Author: mack-38 from Chgo, USA
7 April 2002

I really enjoyed this movie like Ben Hur, King of Kings, I must say though I'm one of those fans that believe music can make or break a movie. Miklos Rozsa's scoring of his basic love theme is so beautiful like his music in the above mentioned two movies, it kept me drawn to it, a bit long but well worth it, with stars like Pier Angeli, Stewart Granger and Stanley Baker were the familiar faces in the Italian made movie.

I do recommend seeing it.

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