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The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966)

Unrated | | Drama | 28 September 1966 (USA)
Extravagant production of the first part of the book of Genesis. Covers Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood and Abraham and Isaac.




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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lot's Wife
Pupella Maggio ...
Robert Rietty ...
Abraham's Steward
Peter Heinze ...


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Greatest Story of All Time... See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 September 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bible  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$34,900,023 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)


Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In her memoirs, Ava Gardner wrote that she hated having to speak the stilted dialogue, as it felt unnatural. John Huston told her that she would speak them and make them sound convincing. See more »


At the end of an early dialog between Sarah and her handmaid, Hagar stands up and turns around heading for the door. That's when we see that the back of her tight dress is held together with a modern-day zipper. See more »


Eve: [after Cain is born] I have made a man from the Lord!
See more »


Referenced in Machine Gun McCain (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Expensively made production dealing with relevant biblical deeds in the Old Testament
27 December 2014 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Spectacular as well as extravagant production of the first part of the book of Genesis and dealing with five of the early stories in the Old Testament .The title is a bit of a misnomer as the film only covers the first 22 chapters of the first book of Genesis . It covers various Biblical episodes and and open with the Creation of the World and arrive at the Garden of Eden with Adam (Michael Parks) and Eve, Cain and Abel (Richard Harris and Franco Nero play brothers-turned-enemies) Noah (John Huston , though Charles Chaplin and Alec Guinness was also offered the role ) and the Flood and the story of Nimrod (Stephen Boyd) , King of Babel and the emergence of man's vanity . Furthermore , Lot (Gabriele Ferzetti) , Lot's Wife (Eleonora Rossi Drago), Sodomah and Gomorra destruction , and three such Heavenly Messengers (Peter O'Toole) appeared in the course of events along with Abraham (George C Scott) , Sarah (Ava Gardner) , his slave Hagar and sons Isaac and Ismael.

This overblown all-star cast Biblical treatment contains emotion , religious feeling , human touch and grandeur events . The best episode results to be Noah tale in which John Huston gives an intelligent as well as sympathetic acting ; when God talks to Noah, that's actually the voice of John Huston speaking to the actor John Huston . Filming of The Tower of Babel sequence was disrupted when Egyptian extras staged a rock-throwing riot . One of the first mainstream American films to feature male and female nudity -albeit artfully filmed in a light-and-shadow style- in the Garden of Eden sequences . Reportedly , neither Michael Parks nor Ulla Bergryd used body doubles for these scenes . Lavishly produced by Dino De Laurentiis , he originally announced that this would be the first in a series of feature films based on the books of the bible ; however it didn't take place . Rousing and extraordinary musical score by Toshirô Mayuzumi and uncredited Ennio Morricone ; though Huston wanted Igor Stravinsky to score the film . As with many epics of the 1950s and 1960s Paul Francis Webster was called in to supply promotional lyrics to the main theme. The song was entitled "Song of the Bible" and Webster devised the following lyrics to fit Mayuzumi's opening theme music . Colorful as well as evocative cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno , Fellini's ordinary ; this was the first film shot in the Dimension 150 process. This process was credited as simply "D-150" .

This luxuriously mounted production was well directed by John Huston who gives the feel of a Cecil B De Mille spectacle . However , French director Robert Bresson was firstly hired in 1964 and wen he shot the deluge, he requested the use of all the animals in Rome city zoo , but the only thing Bresson filmed was the tracks of the animals upon a sandy beach , then Bresson was fired, John Huston took over the project, delaying production a further six month. Rating : 6,5/10 . Well worth watching . Better than average . The movie will appeal to religious and epic films buffs .-

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