THE FIRST PICTURE ON THE NEW MIRACLE CURVED SCREEN!
As punishment for offending Caligula, Roman military tribunal Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton) is sent to Jerusalem where he oversees the execution of a Jewish rebel, an event that changes his life forever. A Biblical epic that found great commercial success in depicting the confrontations between early Christians and the Roman Empire. The power of faith is an overarching theme. The film (famous as the first in CinemaScope) is on the whole a robust spectacle that offers excitement in the second half. Still, Burton’s performance is too low-key and the emotional part of the story not arresting enough.
1953-U.S. 135 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Henry Koster. Novel: Lloyd C. Douglas. Cinematography: Leon Shamroy. Costume Design: Charles Le Maire, Emile Santiago. Art Direction: George W. Davis, Lyle R. Wheeler. Cast: Richard Burton (Marcellus Gallio), Jean Simmons (Diana), Victor Mature (Demetrius), Michael Rennie, Richard Boone, Jay Robinson… Dean Jagger, Ernest Thesiger.
Trivia: Tyrone Power and Burt Lancaster were allegedly considered for roles. Followed by Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954).
Oscars: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design. Golden Globe: Best Motion Picture (Drama).