Sex, torture and betrayal in Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, leader of the Hebrews, believes his people can co-exist with the Sodomites, a disastrous decision.Written by
Jeanne Armintrout <Jeannee@uwyo.edu>
Action version, freely adapted, of the Old Testament tale
Robert Aldrich has directed an entertaining, though far from serious retelling, of the Old Testament saga. The story starts out sticking close to the original. Lot ( Stewart Granger) decides to split with his Uncle Abraham and take his group of Hebrews on a different route as they make their nomadic way across the desert. Of course they come upon the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The characters they meet there are bigger than life. The Queen of Sodom is wickedly played by the wonderful Anouk Aimee. She rules the twin cities of the Plain with her leering brother portrayed by Stanley Baker. They both have a ball chewing the scenery and seducing whomever strikes their fancy. The Queen has the eye for young female beauties. Her brother has an eye for both of Lot's daughters. These fun plot additions are distinct divergences from the Old Testament tale. Lot himself falls for the slave girl (Pier Angeli). Royal intrigues and political betrayals run rampant. There are also some good action sequences. One in particular has the Hebrews protecting the cities from invading intruders by destroying a dam they have built inundating their enemies as Moses would do centuries later. Of course, the spectacular finale is the destruction of the cities followed by the Pillar of Salt transformation of Lot's wife. The script writers have left out the tidbit about Lot's own daughters getting him drunk and taking him to bed because they think they are the last people on earth. I guess that was a bit too racy for the audiences in 1962. "Sodom & Gomorrah" came at the tail end of the cycle of biblical spectacles. It certainly wasn't the worst. Its entertainment value includes a superb score by Miklos Rozsa which raises all of the fighting and heavy breathing to a higher level than one would expect.
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