Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus' homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares and delusions after the event. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, and still not believing in Jesus, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he killed.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was first telecast on US television on Easter weekend,1968 on ABC. Not only was the telecast aired at an early hour (7:00 PM EST) to facilitate family viewing, but, unusually, it aired with only one commercial break (for Ford Motor Co.). See more »
The Emperor Tiberius' wife, Julia, puts in an appearance complaining about Diana being considered "too good for Caligula" and Tiberius mentions his "30 years with Julia". Actually, his wife, Julia, the daughter of his predecessor, the Emperor Augustus, had been permanently exiled by her father for lewd behavior long before Tiberius even became Emperor. By the time "The Robe" opens, in the last years of Tiberius' reign, Julia had been dead and forgotten for decades. See more »
When it comes, this is how it will start. Some obscure martyr in some forgotten province, then madness. Infecting the legions, rocking the empire, then the finish of Rome.
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Production of this film had already started when 20th Century Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck decided that this was to be the first film shot in CinemaScope (2.55:1 aspect ratio). Thereafter shooting continued in both the new format and "Academy ratio" (1.37:1 , non-wide-screen) for use in theaters not yet using wide-screen projection. Each time a shot was completed for the scope version, the actors had to do another take for the "flat" version. The most jarring differences are the performances of Richard Burton (Marcellus) and Jay Robinson (Caligula) that are actually improved in the 'Flat' version. There has also been a 'pan & scan' version on video that is not to be confused with the 'Flat' version. The Fox Movie Channel will sometimes air the 'Flat' version; this was the version that was broadcast on TV during the 60's and 70's before the advent of home video. For many years,the "standard" screen version was the one usually shown on TV; therefore, no loss of image by "cropping" the picture's sides resulted such as in "pan and scan" conversions from scope prints. Other films also captured in both aspect rations included Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Sign of the Pagan and The Black Shield of Falworth. See more »
Epic and religious story about a Roman tribune who gains the rob of the just-crucified Christ
This is a dignified portrayal about Ancient Rome from best-selling novel by Lloyd C Douglas adapted by Philip Dunne and Albert Matz's literate screenplay , it deals with dissolute Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton) , a tribune in the time of Christ and son of a notorious senator (Torin Thacher) , as he's sent to Palestine . There he is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus . From his official duties , drunken Marcellus wins Jesus' homespun robe in a dice-game after the crucifixion . He is tormented by delusion and nightmares after the tragic deeds . Hoping to find out a manner to live with what he has done , and still not believing in Jesus, he goes back to Palestine to learn what he can do of the mysterious man he murdered . Later on , he returns Rome and frees the holy-robe-carrying slave named Demetrius (Beefcake Victor Mature) . After that , Caligula (Jay Robinson) takes him prisoner , but his sweetheart (Jean Simmons) takes time out to visit in a dungeon .
This religious mammoth epic focuses a moving Roman pageant dealing with a sponger tribune , following his stirring career , spiritual awakening and reaches an exciting peak at the ending . It has marvelous images , spectacular scenes , enjoyable performances as well as the adequate cast of thousands . Richard Burton and Jean Simmons are both good , though Burton sometimes is a little wooden . Michael Rennie as Peter and Jeff Morrow as Paulus give sensible acting , though brief , which adds more to the reality than anything else . The best acting comes , indeed , from Jay Robinson , the best portrayal of his career , who gives a hammy acting as nasty Caligula . Colorful cinematography by Leon Shamroy and being the first film to be shot in glamorous CinemaScope . Sensitive and lyric musical score by the classic Alfred Newman . The film deservedly won 1953 Academy Award for Art Direction , Set Decoration, Color and Costume Design.
The motion picture is brilliantly directed by Henry Koster , an expert on super-productions and epic biographies , such as he proved in ¨Desiree¨, ¨The Virgin Queen¨, ¨A man called Peter¨, The story of Ruth¨ , ¨The Naked Maja¨ and of course ¨The Robe¨. It's followed by a sequel (1954) titled ¨Demetrius and the gladiators¨ by Delmer Daves with Debra Paget , William Marshall, Richard Egan , Susan Hayward as the trampy empress Messalina and in which the Marcellus's slave , Victor Mature , makes again a surprisingly good acting and reprised diverse characters as Jay Robinson as Caligula and Michael Wilding as apostle Peter.
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