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Monday, June 15, 2015

The Bible: In The Beginning... (1966)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then came Adam (Michael Parks) and Eve (Ulla Bergryd) and they begat Cain (Richard Harris) and Abel (Franco Nero) and ..... well, you know how it goes. John Huston's ambitious undertaking is notable for how he takes the bible stories literally and simply as if he were presenting familiar folk stories or fairy tales. He avoids the gaudy hoopla of the DeMille epics nor does he gives us a contemporary revisionist view like Aronofsky's recent NOAH. The first half is the best especially the Noah (played by Huston, who also is the voice of God) sequence which has some magic to it. The second half suffers from the interminable and less interesting story of Abraham (George C. Scott) and includes the Sodom and Gomorrah section which comes across as rather silly, like a community theater production of FELLINI SATYRICON. It's a film, if so inclined that should please both believers and agnostics (can't vouch for the atheists). Giuseppe Rotunno is responsible for the film's luscious look and the Oscar nominated score is by Toshiro Mayuzumi. With Ava Gardner, Peter O'Toole, Stephen Boyd, Gabriele Ferzetti and Eleonora Rossi Drago and Zoe Sallis (whose union with the director produced actor/director Danny Huston). 

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