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The Robe (1953)

Unrated | | Drama, History | 4 December 1953 (France)
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In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Philip Dunne (screenplay), Gina Kaus (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Burton ... Marcellus Gallio
Jean Simmons ... Diana
Victor Mature ... Demetrius
Michael Rennie ... Peter
Jay Robinson ... Caligula
Dean Jagger ... Justus
Torin Thatcher ... Sen. Gallio
Richard Boone ... Pontius Pilate
Betta St. John ... Miriam
Jeff Morrow ... Paulus
Ernest Thesiger ... Emperor Tiberius
Dawn Addams ... Junia
Leon Askin ... Abidor
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The first motion picture in CinemaScope--the modern miracle you see without glasses! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1953 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Gewand See more »

Filming Locations:

La Pedriza, Madrid, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$36,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Acclaimed by many film historians as a triumph in the art of motion-picture music, Alfred Newman's reverent, intense film score failed to receive even a nomination as Best Original Score for a Dramatic Picture from the Motion Picture Academy's Music Branch Award (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). Incensed by the 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. 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. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Marcellus Gallio: [waking up from a nightmare of Jesus being nailed to the cross] No! No! Stop it! Stop it!
Marcellus Gallio: [runs out on deck] Stop it! Why don't you stop it!
Ship's captain: Stop what, sir?
Marcellus Gallio: Were you out there?
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the two versions of the film, different takes of Richard Burton's off-screen narration are used. In the widescreen version, he delivers the last line of the narration (referring to Caligula) as "He probably will not be pleased to see me", and in the other, "standard" version, he delivers it as "He probably will not be pleased to see ME". See more »

Connections

Featured in Backstory: The Robe (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Epic and religious story about a Roman tribune who gains the rob of the just-crucified Christ
16 March 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

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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