Spectacular epic unfolded during the early Christian era – the story of enmity between a noble young Jew and the ruthless commander of a Roman garrison in a period covering the Birth and Crucifixion of Christ.
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This is how you make an epic. Nobody had a presence quite like Charlton Heston. The chariot race is by far one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema. This was technically a remake and it was perfect so why the fuck do we need another one?
A solidly mounted but po-faced thick ear of a film. Like so many of these sword and sandal epics, it presents a tub-thumping faux reverence for its cod religiosity which would be bad enough let alone at well over three hours. The well-oiled male skin provides knowing distraction if not subtext.
The mammoth of cinema that squashed for good the then rising menace of television, proclaiming its superiority in every scale.
An astonishing, lavish, gigantic display of entertainment and dramatic intensity.
Also the biggest winner of Academy Awards, when they meant something.
THE major historic epic with a larger than life story and impressive sets. The chariot sequence is still a tense and exciting moment. It is a good film but did it deserve to sweep the enormous amount of Academy Awards that it did - probably not.
3-3.5. Generally a very dense, exciting movie large in scope, with debates about God and nationality texturing the characters and theme. But God also proves to be a bit of an achilles heel when the movie drags on about forty minutes past the resolution of its big conflict to indulge in the horror and rapture of the lynching/ascension of Jesus. Really, the movie should have ended with Judah forgiving Messala instead.
The chariot scene is a work of art, and it has to be one of the most epic scenes in cinema history. The production design is astounding, as you'd expect from a film with a record-breaking budget for its time. But the rest is overly dramatic and the final hour is so preachy and cheesy it is hard to keep watching.