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>
Acclaimed by many film historians as a triumph in the art of motion-picture music, Alfred Newman's reverent, intense film score failed to garner an Academy Award nomination for Best Score for a Dramatic Motion Picture (though Newman still took home an Oscar that night - for his adaptation of music for the Irving Berlin-Ethel Merman frolic, Call Me Madam (1953). Angered by the Academy voters' snub of Newman, distinguished film composer Franz Waxman, an Oscar winner for Sunset Blvd. (1950) and A Place in the Sun (1951), resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Ironically, when Newman, in his role as 20th Century-Fox's head of music, hired Waxman to write the score to the film's sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954), Waxman insisted that he should adapt Newman's original themes from The Robe, rather than write his own. It may be that that year's winning Dramatic Score had been submitted in the wrong category. Bronislau Kaper's charming score for Lili (1953), really a semi-musical starring Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer, spotlighted Kaper's melodies for two dream-dance sequences (choreographed by Charles Walters), and the wistful hit waltz, "Li-Lili, Hi-Lo" (lyrics by Helen Deutsch). It was not nominated. See more »
The characters constantly refer to the province Jerusalem is located in as "Palestine". At the time the film is set (AD 30's), Jerusalem was located in the province of "Judea". Judea would not be called Palestine until Emperor Hadrian renamed it ("Syria Palaestina") in 135 AD at the end of the Jewish Revolt. See more »
[to Demetrius, trying to explain why Jesus has been betrayed to the Romans]
Because men are weak. Because they are cursed with envy and cowardice. Because they can dream of truth... but cannot live with it. So they doubt. They doubt, the fools!
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Few movies today carry the wallop that Henry Coster packed into this one. The Lloyd Douglas masterpiece has been well adapted to film... and it is refreshing to see a film on a biblical theme that Hollywood hasn't screwed up and made Christianity look bad. Noah's Ark (1999 TV) is a Bible story to avoid. The Robe, on the other hand, is a great story, with a sincere effort to communicate a commitment to integrity, whatever the cost. I would watch this one again and recommend it highly as a true classic... I give it 9 out of 10.
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