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Demetrius and the Gladiators
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Inheriting The Robe's CinemaScope production values, Demetrius and the Gladiators has everything you'd want in a Biblical epic, riding the wave that would crest two years later with Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments. It's campy, of course--Robinson is outrageously over-the-top; Mature is too contemporary (preceding the absurdity of Richard Gere's King David by 30 years); and Hayward seems closer to Rodeo Drive than ancient Rome. Still, there are abundant pleasures here, from the lavish arena battles (a bit cheesy, but still impressive) to a straightforward morality tale that doesn't compromise its themes of religious loyalty. You don't watch movies like this for historical accuracy, but for the combination of thrills, passion, and glory that were Hollywood trademarks of 1950s epics, long before the more secular ambition of Gladiator. --Jeff Shannon
Top Customer Reviews
After the executions of the earlier heroes Marcellus and Diana at the hands of Caligula Demetrius is entrusted with Christ's sacred robe which the Romans believe works miracles.Read more ›
With Cinemascope splendor, action, sex, a wide range of performances (including early turns from Ernest Borgnine, future "Blacula" William Marshall and Anne Bancroft), and a regal Franz Waxman score (incorporating some of Alfred Newman's themes from "The Robe"), "Demetrius and the Gladiators" reworks the more satisfying elements of its predecessor while being, if anything, livelier. Michael Rennie was one of several "Robe" veterans - including writer Philip Dunne - who returned to reprise their roles in "Demetrius," yet this picture also owes a debt to director Delmer Davies, whose pacing results in an exciting widescreen epic from Fox's Golden Age that's ultimately more fun than the film that preceded it.
Twilight Time's Blu-Ray houses a 1080p AVC encoded transfer from the best-available elements that exist in the Fox vaults.Read more ›
This DVD looks great, but the first time I viewed it, years ago, I couldn't watch it all the way through because I wanted to HEAR it. I wrote on these pages that to hear this film presentation I had to crank the volume way, way up....to the point where I had to endure hiss along with dialogue and special effects.
The fact of the matter is, I was taking the word of the folks who sold me my receiver, DVD player and surround speakers that the optical hookups converted audio signals for both DTS and 5.1CH. And the 5.1, for years, was a very undesirable sound for me -- and I couldn't understand why folks liked it.
Now I know why. My receiver does not convert to 5.1 via the optical cables. (And that's why both the receiver and DVD have separate input panels for 5.1CH hookups).
Now that the hookups are completed, I have to say the sound on this DVD is A-W-E-S-O-M-E for a 1954 4-track stereo film.
I apologize to Fox Video for criticizing the sound quality. I'd have loved for there to have been more bonus features on this, but the film is splendid on its own.
The packaging remains lacking, IMO. The film is vivid and colorful and the DVD cover is drab.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great to have one of the early CinemaScope movies. Power and over-the-top music can give you chills. Beautifully mastered from original 4 track magnetic elements. Read morePublished 26 days ago by R Peterson
This was made in china, it would get stuck and stop playing.
Buy OEM DVD's and be careful not to buy a Chineese Boot leg.
This movie is accidentally listed under Prime Movies. It says one can rent it or buy it on the description but does not say it's a Prime video.Published 2 months ago by Ann Sherry
I wanted to purchase this video because I watched on TV when I was a little girl! The playback and audio quality of this video is excellent!Published 2 months ago by Jean White