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.
A nice entertainment film overall, filled with some memorable scenes. Apart from the incredible Circus sequence, the other things that hit my attention were: the unlimited-budget Hollywood-golden-era production process (what you see on the screen was done for real and not in a green room, can you believe that?) and, of course, the crazy script.
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.
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.