When Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton) is sent to Jerusalem, one of his assignments is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Marcellus, a cynical and hardened man, wins the robe Jesus wore to the crucifixion while gambling with other Roman soldiers underneath the dying savior. He later becomes convinced that his hallucinations and violent outbursts are the result of a curse received from the robe, which is now in the possession of his escaped slave, Demetrius (Victor Mature), somewhere in the Middle East. He sets out to find Demetrius in order to destroy the robe and the curse and finds faith instead, converting to Christianity. This was the first movie to be filmed in CinemaScope and won Oscars in 1953 for costume design, art direction, and set decoration. The visual aspects of the film are stunning, and it may be worth viewing for that alone; however, the script and acting leave much to be desired, and you won't find inspiration in these areas if that's what interests you. If, however, you are more interested in this film for its religious matter, the story of the conversion of the hardened Marcellus is inspiring. --James McGrath
BUT the producers must have spend quite a fortune on EYE MAKEUP .... Ye, Gods, even the kids are sporting green or vaguely lavender eye-shadow - as for NIMROD's golden brows!
AVA GARDNER does shine as SARAH - unafraid of unflattering lighting or angles, but she was and still is quite special, and GEORGE C. SCOTT does have a few pithy moments .... the make-up though! BRINGING UP THE REAR - so to speak is Peter O'Toole as Triplet, blue-eyed Angels of Wrath [!], Richard Harris - star rising ["This Sporting Life"] as Cain, Zoe Sallis as the 'other woman' in Abraham's life, Stephen Boys [utterly wasted] as Nimrod, John Huston as a bemused, befuddled and bewildered Noah [nice comic turn though], and somewhere in there a Young Franco Nero!
COSTUMING is dreadful - pity for this almost completely Italian Production. And the famous SODOM AND GOMORRAH sequence? Pale Fellini or is it George Romero? The styrofoam blasted 'Wife of Lot' - really!
WISH the score was available on CD - MAYUZUMI went on to score Huston's "Reflections in A Golden Eye" - somewhat better fare.
DVD sound is VERY ODD - stereo? Color is quite washed out too - pity - this one could be wonderfully restored in full 5.1 or even DTS - it is as close to an epic as we'll ever come!
Another reviewer mentioned it was a little slow in the beginning, and that is true, but if... Read more