The Robe (1953) Poster


Alternate Versions

In 1997 the opening credits were altered to give top writing credit to Albert Maltz. Maltz had written the initial screenplay when the project was at R.K.O. Maltz's credit did not appear on prior prints because he was one of the "Hollywood Ten" who was blacklisted.
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 (1954), Sign of the Pagan (1954) and The Black Shield of Falworth (1954).
When "The Robe" was given its UK television network premiere on Good Friday, March 28, 1975, the version used was the non-anamorphic standard screen version. All subsequent transmissions over the years since then have been of the CinemaScope version.
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".
The widescreen version carries the credit "Twentieth Century-Fox presents A Cinemascope Production" before the title actually appears onscreen. The "flat" version, sometimes now shown on American Movie Classics, simply says "Twentieth Century-Fox presents 'The Robe'".

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