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The Story of Joseph and His Brethren (1961)

Giuseppe venduto dai fratelli (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Family | December 1962 (USA)
A brother is cast out from his family, sold in to slavery and then returns years later as a man of power - but shows forgiveness and compassion to his family through the strength of character given to him by God.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marietto ... Benjamin
... Joseph
... Jacob, Joseph's Father
Nino Segurini ... Gad, Joseph's Brother (as Antonio Segurini)
Charles Borromel ... Dan, Joseph's Brother
Carlo Giustini ... Reuben, Joseph's Brother
Dante DiPaolo ... Simeon, Joseph's Brother
Marco Guglielmi ... Judah, Joseph's Brother
Helmuth Schneider ... Zebulon, Joseph's Brother
... Potiphar
... Rekmira, the Minister
Vira Silenti ... Asenath
Mimo Billi ... Chief Cupbearer (as Mimmo Billi)
Julian Brooks ... Anteff, Chief Baker
... Heneth, Potiphar's Wife


A brother is cast out from his family, sold in to slavery and then returns years later as a man of power - but shows forgiveness and compassion to his family through the strength of character given to him by God.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"...his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph, and she said, lie with me..." (Genesis 39:7)


Drama | Family


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

December 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joseph and His Brethren  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Technicolor)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was a dream project for Columbia head honcho Harry Cohn. He bought the rights from former MGM boss Leo B. Mayer and there even exists photos of his intended star Rita Hayworth in Egyptian makeup. When Hayworth turned down the role, Cohn opted for his other major Columbia contract player, Kim Novak, but she too rejected the offer . Tony Curtis and amazingly Jack Lemmon were also considered but eventually and with over one million dollars spent, the Columbia production was cancelled. See more »


Followed by Pontius Pilate (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Joseph AND HIS BRETHREN (Irving Rapper and Luciano Ricci, 1960) **
19 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

In the wake of the adoption of the Widescreen process and the consequent increase in popularity of the Biblical subgenre within the realm of the Epic, stories from the Old and New Testament became a much-raided Hollywood commodity during the 1950s and 1960s. It was only a matter of time before the ultra-Catholic Italians got onto the bandwagon and grew another branch into their own in-house brand of the epic that was renamed the peplum.

As would eventually became the custom, veteran Hollywood film-makers – among them Frank Borzage, Raoul Walsh, Jacques Tourneur and Edgar G. Ulmer – were engaged to supervise the production of these cheaper Italian epics and so it is that Irving Rapper – best-known for the schmaltzy but solid Bette Davis vehicles NOW, VOYAGER (1942) and DECEPTION (1946) – became involved with bringing to the big-screen the story of Joseph; subsequently, he would be employed in a similar capacity on PONTIUS PILATE (1962). While the co-director here was one Luciano Ricci – who would later (under the alias of Herbert Wise) be the officially credited director of THE CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD (1964) despite the reported intervention of two others! – the actors who came on board Joseph AND HIS BRETHREN were far better known. Chief among them were Robert Morley (ludicrously hamming it up as Potiphar) and genre staple Finlay Currie (as a dignified Jacob), while the younger roles were entrusted to an eclectic bunch: Geoffrey Horne (in the title role), Belinda Lee (as Potiphar’s deceitful wife, she featured in several of these Italian cheapies and would eventually die tragically within a year in a road accident), Arturo Domenici (as Potiphar’s ambitious counsellor), Terence Hill (as Joseph’s younger brother Benjamin) and Dante Di Paolo (as the main schemer among Joseph’s jealous brothers).

One may wonder why I’m talking about everything else but the film and, unfortunately, that’s because it is no great shakes. While the story was good enough to be remade thrice on celluloid – as a 1974 TV movie by Michael Cacoyannis, yet again for TV in 1995 and as a Dreamworks animated feature in 2000 – not to mention revamped as a musical extravaganza on the stage, the version under review is dreary, dull and unmemorable. Small wonder, then that the film has fallen into public domain and is available on various budget DVDs in an English-dubbed, pan-and-scan, washed out print which further serves to alienate the viewer.

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