The Old Testament story of Abraham and the trials he endures. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will ... See full summary »
In the land of Canaan lives Isaac, son of Abraham, with his clever, strong-willed wife Rebekah and his twin sons Esau and Jacob. The first-born, Esau, is a strong and fearless hunter with a... See full summary »
Lara Flynn Boyle,
David, now an old man, is still king of Israel. Among his sons, the ambitious Adonijah and the clever Solomon. The two young men are fierce rivals, since both are prospective heirs to the ... See full summary »
Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), King of the Persians, whose empire now extends from India to Egypt after the defeat of the Babylonians, is holding a celebratory banquet for his people in the citadel ... See full summary »
F. Murray Abraham,
The young Jeremiah grows up in a priest's family in the village of Anathoth, near Jerusalem. God appears to Jeremiah in different human guises on several occasions, and makes it clear to ... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Mina is a charming salesgirl. She buys a lottery ticket, but she finds out soon that it has been stolen from her. Pavlos, a married lawyer, enamored with her, helps her to track down the ... See full summary »
This film recounts the tales of the Biblical figures, Jacob and Joseph. The first part tells the story of Jacob fleeing his tribe when he cheats his brother out of his birthright, gets cheated himself in his exile years while learning of the need to make amends. The second part is of the story of Jacob's favourite son, Joseph. Betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers, he meets and overcomes all adversity to become the Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the Pharoah. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
THE STORY OF JACOB AND Joseph (TV) (Michael Cacoyannis, 1974) ***
Several Bible-related TV films were made over the years, some by noted directors: for last year's Easter schedule, in fact, I had included Ermanno Olmi's GENESIS: THE CREATION AND THE FLOOD (1994) and Nicolas Roeg's SAMSON AND DELILAH (1996); incidentally, at the time, I also caught Joseph AND HIS BRETHREN (1960) which, of course, tells of the same events (or, at least, the second half of it) as the film under review. This is pretty much straightforward stuff, not particularly inspired but certainly decent; as for myself, I vaguely recalled some of the passages depicted from Catechism classes I attended in my childhood such as when Isaac's second-born, clean-shaven shepherd Jacob, dresses up in the hirsute guise of his sibling, the hunter Esau, in order that their dying father bless and relinquish the legacy of God's chosen people upon him instead (while the elder son is away expressly to prove his mettle required for this great task!). Jacob then goes into exile and starts his proverbial tribe bearing 12 sons from 4 different women (2 sisters, who are also his own cousins, and their respective servant-girls!). I enjoyed the first part slightly more than the second where we also got the services of a respectable cast (Harry Andrews as Isaac, Colleen Dewhurst as his wife, Keith Michell as Jacob, Julian Glover as Esau and Herschel Bernardi as the wily uncle). The latter stages with Michell stepping into the background so as to allow Tony LoBianco as the favorite among his sons, the wise-man Joseph, to take center-stage tread more familiar ground but remain watchable, despite the inherent low-budget and flat look associated with made-for-TV productions. Joseph is thrown into a well by his jealous brothers and sold to a band of wandering traders bound for Egypt, unaccountably rises to a position of Pharaoh's adviser and to where the Hebrews eventually assemble, until the advent of Moses. Here, too, one particular episode rang a bell when LoBianco rejects the attentions of the slave-master's wife, thus incurring her wrath (in this respect, both she and the actress playing Jacob's preferred wife Rachel are quite attractive and, being foreigners, lend the proceedings the requisite exotic touch). For the record, this is the third film I have watched from director Cacoyannis: the others, while superior, were also closer to his own background namely, ELECTRA (1962) and ZORBA THE Greek (1964).
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