The Italian epic LA BIBBIA was originally released in 1920 but it took a couple years for it to finally land in America where it was shown at 11-reels. Sadly this version is now lost and the only thing available in a 1929 re-issue under the title AFTER SIX DAYS, which also features added narration, which not only should be a sin itself but even worse is that this has caused the picture to be missing part of the top frame. Even worse, the original 11-reels has been edited down to just 62-minutes.
The story itself deals with various stories in The Old Testament including Adam and Eve, Noah and the great flood and of course Moses and the Tend Commandments. I find it impossible to judge the original version of this film because there are just so many things wrong in the 1929 version. Many films (THE BIRTH OF A NATION, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE GOLD RUSH) were re-released with added dialogue and I've mostly found these experiments to be annoying. However, the one big difference is that those films are still available in their silent versions and that's simply not the case here. I know a lot of silent buffs say that dialogue and sound just dumbed down movies and it's pretty funny listening to the narration here because it really does dumb everything down. Even someone only vaguely familiar with the stories are going to get a few laughs from the narration, which tries to explain some pretty common knowledge stuff.
What can be judged about the original film is the obvious fact that the rumored $3-million dollar budget is right on the screen. I was really amazed at how terrific the film looks and this includes the amazing sequence where Noah's ship is being built. There's no question that the movie was influenced by INTOLERANCE and this includes the wonderful costumes, the amazing detail in the sets and the hundreds of extras that are in certain scenes. Even though most of everything looks terrific, there are still some campy moments including the entire Adam and Eve sequence. We start off with Adam showing his naked butt to us and things just get even funnier especially the scene where the two share the apple. Even crazier is Even's hair, which makes her look like a cross between a caveman and some sort of monster that you'd expect to see in a Roger Corman film from the 50s.
So, is AFTER SIX DAYS worth viewing? I guess I'd have to recommend it just so people could see the footage from the original film. I'd probably say it's best to turn the sound down and not listen to the narration but until the complete film is found, this is the only thing out there.
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