Here's a treatment of the story of the Maccabees, which Protestants and Jews don't even consider to be part of the Old Testament. But the movie is called the Old Testament, probably for the same reason that one of the Italian actors has been dubbed John Heston and one of the actresses Susan Paget, borrowing the surnames of actors familiar from the 1956 Ten Commandments movie. Nobody seems to have thought-- nor indeed does anyone to this day, it seems-- that the Maccabees have wide commercial appeal. I don't think it's the Maccabees' story that dooms this movie, though. It's the failure to imagine that story in terms of anything but played-out stereotypes, from the supercilious villain and his fat, greedy, obsequious henchman to the Jew and pagan who (like Ben Hur and Messala) must discard their youthful friendship. Stereotyped female parts are also added to the story, out of nowhere, but the distortions don't add up to any serious misrepresentation of history. They just add up to a waste of time.
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