Reviews written by registered user
jaybee-3

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24 reviews in total 
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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
DeMille's finest production, 30 March 2004
9/10

Cecil B. DeMille produced this masterpiece over 80 years ago and it still retains its great power and reverence. Everyone associated with the production put their heart and soul into this work and it certainly shows on screen. The photography and background music score are to be particularly commended. By the way, any on-screen violence during the scourging and crucifixion sequences were kept to a minimum. Parents can view this film with their children and have no concerns. For some reason, this has very limited play on television in the United States. TCM plays the film twice a year during Easter and Christmas. That cable channel seems to be the only place to watch this wonderful film. The Kino video tape and Criterion DVD release remain available for purchase. The DVD offers the original premiere cut and the shorter sound reissue. Some important sequences are shown in the uncut 155 minute version ( such as Peter's denial of Jesus). The sound reissue version is missing slightly less than 30 minutes and this is the one most people have seen throughout the years. Both versions are superb in their own way. This film will truly touch your heart. By all means, seek it out. A true silent classic.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Average Universal serial, 13 February 2004

Some good action sequences in this otherwise routine Universal serial. Fans of the "Dead End Kids" will get a kick out of it, especially all the ad-libbing. The Rossini classical music tracks heard periodically are wildly inappropriate.

13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
One of the best religious films of the Fifties, 8 May 2003

Beautiful work by all concerned. Sincere performances by Susan Whitney, Sherry Jackson, Sammy Ogg and veteran character actor Gilbert Roland help tremendously. This will probably be restored by Warner Bros. so be on the lookout for it when released on DVD.

6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
"The First All-Talking Universal Serial", 6 October 2002

Quite popular back in 1930, it is a now a very dated curio. Some of the acting is so melodramatic that it provokes laughter. The camerawork is impressive ( especially for a serial ). However, most people will have to put up with a lot of nonsense in order to enjoy this one. We did like Pal the dog though.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Above average Universal serial, 3 May 2002

Frankly, this one was a surprise. This vintage serial was loaded with action sequences - especially in the first four chapters. Brown, Miller and Hatton are a great trio. You will have to put up with some awfully contrived dialogue, especially Miller's constant referral to gambling and cards when talking about anything. However, there is a great deal of entertainment here for the cliffhanger fans out there.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Ancient sound remake, 29 April 2002

Even for old movie buffs, this one is tough to sit through. Very dated stuff. Stock footage is utilized from the 1927 silent version to help stretch the budget. Dimitri Tiomkin fans may be interested in hearing one of his earliest music scores. Overall, a big disappointment.

24 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Memorable cave man saga, 13 April 2002
6/10

This film must have been quite a show for moviegoers in 1940. Reportedly it did not do very well at the box office. But, it is remembered fondly by youngsters who saw this movie on television back in the 50s and 60s. Today we have to forgive the very silly story and over the top acting. Production-wise though, the photography, art direction and musical score are all quite good. Special effects are fairly impressive. Indeed, the dinosaur and volcano eruption sequences show up later in many low-budget films of the 40s and 50s so don't be surprised if they look familiar. Give it a shot - it's worth a look ! Footnote: For years, this circulated around under different titles and variable quality prints. Hal Roach Studios went back to the original 35MM elements and produced a very nice video transfer for television broadcast.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Tolerable Universal musical drama, 19 March 2002
5/10

This was Bela Lugosi's last film on his first contract with Universal. As such, it is not too bad. The Actman-Loesser songs are silly but certainly not hard to listen to. There is evidence of some post-production editing on this one - it barely clocks in at an hour. The familiar background score by Clifford Vaughan was reused many times by Universal as stock music for the next 7 years. Worth looking at once if only to see Bela !

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Silly murder mystery, 17 February 2002

A comedy mystery from the Charles R. Rogers - Universal period. Film plays well enough for young children but adults will become a bit restless with some of the nonsense. Dante is a charming lead but her career never really took off. Look for Harry Davenport in a tiny role.

Zanzibar (1940)
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Classic Universal "B" movie, 8 February 2002

A film with a lot of action and a tongue-in-cheek script. Stock footage from "East of Java" and "East of Borneo" is used effectively. Even some of the background music is borrowed from such flicks as "Bombay Mail" and "Son of Frankenstein". A treat for old-time adventure film fans !


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