An all-enveloping darkness. Suddenly, a child's voice, frightened, questioning, pierces the darkness... The first flickering rays of light begin to sculpt mysterious shapes out of the ... See full summary »
An elaborate Hollywood retelling of the Bible stories narrated by the film's director John Huston. We open with the Creation of the World and arrive at the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and continue on to Cain and the murder of Abel. Next, we visit Noah and his ark with its spectacular flood sequence. Then we come to the story of Nimrod, King of Babel, the emergence of man's vanity and the heights to which it could aspire if unchecked. Finally we cover Abraham, a mystic who spoke personally with God, a leader of men, a builder of nations, a pioneer and a warrior and Sarah. At the time she conceived her first child, the event being forecast by an Angel of the Lord. Three such Heavenly Messengers appeared in the course of events which befell Abraham and Sarah. Written by
Whatever religious beliefs John Huston did or did not have, he treated the Scriptures with a great deal of respect. I don't see why an atheist would do a movie like this in the first place. I would think he wouldn't have wanted to touch it. But the beauty and poetry of this film is simply awesome. I would have given it ten stars, but he did take some artistic license with Scripture and he did kind of ham it up in the Noah's Ark sequence. Also, he left out the part where Noah got drunk after the flood and cursed one of his sons because they made fun of his nakedness. Otherwise, this is a beautiful film. It reminded me a little bit of HOW THE WEST WAS WON, in that he chronicled a few generations in this story, and many of the actors had little more than cameo appearances. The Creation scenes were absolutely gorgeous. I read somewhere that he didn't want to use animation drawings for the Creation, because he felt that the world was in a constant state of creation, and he had a crew film some of the wonders of the world at work. The results are stunning. The world really looks fresh and new in this film. You can tell he put a lot of care in making this film.
As a musician, I have to comment on the music in this film. It is as beautiful as the film. Too bad the soundtrack is out of print now. I had the album when I was younger and I played it nearly every chance I got. I never knew until I saw on this site that Ennio Morricone had a hand in writing some of this score (don't know which parts) but was uncredited. Instead, a Japanese composer named Toshiro Mayuzumi did most of this score, a composer I haven't heard of since.
Until PASSION OF THE Christ, this was the last of the big Bible epics and is an underrated masterpiece worth seeing. (THE LAST TEMPTATION OF Christ doesn't count because it took the Scriptures and butchered them.) 9 out of 10.
36 of 46 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?