Richard Burton, Jean Simmonds, Victor Mature.
time: 136 mins..
first movie released in the CinemaScope format - forerunner
of today's wide-angle look - The Robe is an entertaining religious
the pace is a little slow, but a movie of this nature needs
space to tell its fictional story, which is based upon a real
event - the crucifixion of Jesus..
Burton plays Marcellus Gallio, a Roman centurion who is ordered
to oversee the crucifixion before being allowed to return
home to Rome. In a gambling game near the cross, Gallio wins
wins Christ's robe - a simple garment that magically changes
with remorse for his actions and rejecting his old warrior
status, Gallio becomes a Christian like his former Greek slave
Demetrius (Victor Mature). He returns to Rome, which is under
the debauched leadership of the Emperor Caligula (Jay Robinson)
and saves the beautiful Diana (Jean Simmons) from his evil
clutches - an action that draws Caligula's wrath.
is rather wooden in the lead role and Mature steals the picture
with an energetic, impassioned performance. Jay Robinson goes
right over the top and succeeds in bringing the crazed Caligula
vividly to life. Jean Simmonds is serene and beautiful throughout.
hope Fox spends some money on a digital cleanup of the movie
for future release - it really does need some work to show
it in its true glory. The picture quality is quite good, but
there are enough bits of debris to annoy me. Such a historical
film deserves to look its best.