Media

Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2009

ARTICLE INDEX

"The Robe" (Blu-ray)

movie-march-2009-the-robeSynopsis

The story takes place in Rome during the reign of Emperor (Caesar) Tiberius. Marcellus Gallio (Burton) is a Tribune.

Jesus has been tried and sentenced to be crucified. Marcellus witnesses the crucifixion and wins Jesus' robe when the soldiers are gambling for it.

When Marcellus holds the robe, he is suddenly overcome with fear. One of his slaves, Demetrius (Mature), takes the robe away. Diana (Simmons), who loves Marcellus, tries to sooth him, but to no avail.

Over the next few months, Marcellus has nightmares and keeps shouting, "Are you out there?" Tiberius orders him to find the robe and destroy it as the only way that Marcellus can heal himself.

While Marcellus searches for Demetrius, Emperor Tiberius dies and Caligula (Robinson) replaces him at the throne. Marcellus finds Demetrius, and in the process, becomes converted to Christianity when he realizes there is nothing to fear.

Caligula hears that Marcellus has put Jesus as his king, rather than Caligula, and brings both Marcellus and Diana before him, and orders Marcellus to declare Caligula as his king, and disavow Jesus.

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 1953, Color, Not Rated, 2 Hr 14 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 21 Mbps
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Michael Rennie, Jay Robinson, Dean Jagger
  • Directed by Henry Koster
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

This was the first movie filmed in CinemaScope (widescreen). It was during a time when people started watching the new gadget called television rather than going to the theater. So, Hollywood came up with this new format. Adding stereo sound to the wide image made it vastly superior to any TV viewing, and people came back to the theaters.

CinemaScope was basically a prism that was placed in front of the main lens, and it compressed the image sideways. The first CinemaScope pictures were shot at 2.55:1 instead of the current 2.35:1, so they were really wide. Secondly, they were also filmed in conventional 1.33:1 just in case audiences didn't like the wide images. They couldn't do it by just having two cameras going at the same time, because the props had to be rearranged to fit into the smaller 1.33:1 image space. You can imagine the expense of filming the movie twice!

Technical

The image has been superbly restored, but the sound, although stereo, does not convert well to 5.1.

Extras

These include The Making of, The CinemaScope Story, From Scripture to Script, A Comparsion of the Widescreen Version with the Standard Version, and other things.