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 <email@example.com>
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Costume Design (Color). See more »
Justus tells Marcellus that his grandson, who was born crippled and whom Jesus healed, was named for "Jonathan of old", who (Justus claims) was also born crippled. In the Jewish community, "Jonathan of old" would be the son of Saul, first king of Israel, and the best friend of David, Saul's successor. Jonathan was not born crippled; he had a son, Mephibosheth, who "was lame in both feet", but that was the result of an accident when he was 5 years old (2 Samuel 4:4). See more »
[after learning that Caligula has posted him to a back-water military command far away from Rome]
Palestine - the worst pesthole in the Empire. They're stiff-necked, riotous people, always on the verge of rebellion. Our Legions there are the scum of the army - the officers little better than the men. Disease takes them off like flies. Some have been assassinated - sometimes by their own men. Others have spared the assassins the trouble. What Caligula hopes he has given you is ...
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I have probably seen this film over 100 times, and I never tire of it nor does it fail to inspire my love of faith even more. Although the focus is not on Jesus directly, it is through the great talents of the actors, writers and director that the focus IS placed back on Jesus' effect on the lives of the movie characters.
There is not a single performer in this film who is not brilliant. Richard Burton turns in a superb & convincing performance as Marcellus, the Roman tribune whose life is a meaningless series of women and wine until fate gives him faith. And there is no more beautiful actress ever than Jean Simmons as Diana. (I even named my only daughter Diana because of the effect that this character had on me as a child; Diana defined beauty to me.) But my favorite by far was Victor Mature's Demetrius, a role which was so beloved at the time, that the sequel of Demetrius and the Gladiators began filming soon after The Robe was released to critical and popular acclaim. Mr. Mature's portrayal of Demetrius, a Greek slave who would only see Jesus, yet be changed permanently by His glance, helped develop my faith in me as a child.
All of the other performances are excellent and uplifting. It is a great movie to watch with the family and explain all the different ways faith was given to each of the characters. It is a visually stunning film, with beautiful and haunting music (score by Hollywood musical genius Alfred Newman), and one that stands the test of time (I've been watching it for over 40 years.)
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