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The Robe

Released

Latest Home Video

Mar 17, 2009

MPAA Rating:

Not Rated


Run Time:

135

Cast

Richard Burton Jean Simmons Victor Mature

Studio

1953 Twentieth Century Fox

Still shot from the movie: The Robe.

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Reviewed by

OverallB
ViolenceC-
SexA-
LanguageB+
Drugs/AlcoholC+
Run Time135

Making the Grades

Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton) a self-centered and brazen centurion is the product of an affluent family in a conquering nation. Unconcerned for his father's reputation as a Roman senator, Marcellus fires quick words at a high ranking official and soon finds himself consigned to duty in the hot, dusty province of Jerusalem.

Back home, the lovelorn Diana (Jean Simmons) pleads the case of her errant soldier and begs for his return to Rome while evading the lusty advances of Caligula (Jay Robinson I), son of the reigning emperor. Her cries are successful and Marcellus is soon summoned back to the center of civilization, but not before completing his final assignment to oversee the crucifixion of Jesus. While playing games of chance at the foot of the cross, a drunken Marcellus wins the scarlet robe worn by Christ. Haunted by the touch of the homespun cloth, the returning centurion suffers fevered fits of sleep and wild delusions that convince him the mantle is bewitched. In order to regain his sanity he seeks to destroy the robe, along with the followers of the crucified teacher.

While mingling among the humble followers of Jesus, Marcellus discovers the robe in the possession of his former Greek slave, Demetrius (Victor Mature). Afraid to handle the garment but intrigued by the Christian believers, Marcellus begins a journey that brings him face to face with his role in history's most infamous crucifixion and ultimately pits his newfound convictions against the power of the Roman emperor.

The Robe claims a spot in cinematic history as one of the first motion pictures to be filmed in the wide screen format. Nominated for best picture in 1954, it was also one of the first epic films of the 1950's and early 60's that include classics such as Ben Hur, Spartacus, and The Ten Commandments. The story of The Robe continues in the movie, Demetrius and the Gladiators.

The brutality of ancient Rome is unsuitable for young families but the loyal love story between Diana and Marcellus, his metamorphic change and commitment, are reasons to pick up this title if you're roamin' around the video store.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Robe.

During the movie, Marcellus spares the life of a Roman soldier with whom he is fighting for control of the troops. Why do you think he allowed the man to live? Do you think his decision was a sign of courage or weakness? When can walking away from trouble be the best thing to do?

Demetrius tells Marcellus that no amount of money can buy his friendship. How is true friendship earned? How did the relationship between Demetrius and Marcellus change over time?

One of the characters in the movie claims, “man’s desire to be free is the greatest madness of all.” What do you think he meant?

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB Not Rated -----
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: NA

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of The Robe...

The Robe: Special Edition

Release Date: 17 March 2009

The DVD Special Edition of The Robe comes clothed with many additional accessories. These include an introduction by Martin Scorsese, a commentary with film composer David Newman and film historians Jon Burlingame, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman, a making-of featurette, a look at the music of The Robe (the Alfred Newman’s score has an isolated music track), still galleries and an interactive press book. The movie is presented in the Fox CinemaScope widescreen format, with audio tracks in 5.1 Dolby Surround and 4.0 Dolby Surround (English), as well as Mono (French). Subtitles are provided in English and Spanish.

 

The Robe: Special Edition is also available on Blu-ray, featuring all the above-mentioned bonus materials. However, this edition comes decked out with even more extras, such as an extra introduction by vintage celebrities Richard Widmark, Susan Hayworth, Robert Wagner, Clifton Webb and Dan Dailey. As well, there is a history lesson on CinemaScope, an audio interview with screenwriter Philip Dunne (recorded in 1969), press materials from the movie’s début, a comparison of the widescreen and standard versions of the film and a picture-in-picture mode. There are also many featurettes that examine the production From Scripture to Script (the perspectives of Hollywood and the Bible) and offer A Seamless Faith (the real-life search for Christ’s robe), along with trailers and TV spots. This edition is authored in BD-J with AVEC (MPEG 4) compression on a dual-layer 50GB disc, and presented in the Fox CinemaScope widescreen format. Audio tracks are available in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (English), 4.0 Dolby Digital (English) and Mono (French and Portuguese). Subtitles are provided in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Cantonese, Mandarin and Korean.

 

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