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In the Beginning


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Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Landau, Jacqueline Bisset, Billy Campbell, Eddie Cibrian, Frederick Weller
  • Directors: Kevin Connor
  • Writers: John Goldsmith
  • Producers: David V. Picker, Paul Lowin, Robert Halmi Jr.
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 189 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000055YVV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,184 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In the Beginning" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

From the people who created the made-for-TV special-effects extravaganzas "Merlin" and "Arabian Nights" comes "In the Beginning", the story about the travels and travails of the tribe of Abraham (Martin Landau). Set around the year 2000 B.C., the narrative opens with "Genesis 12," wherein the Lord has kicked Abraham and company out of their country to a land of milk and honey to be named later. In order to keep up the morale of his followers while on the road, Abraham gives a sermon that sums up God's creation of the universe. By illustrating this sermon with stock footage and special-effects shots, the producers are obviously making a connection between sermons of old and popular entertainments of today. From there, the twists and turns of the Old Testament are treated like a soap opera. Family dramas take center stage, whether it's God testing Abraham by telling him to kill his son in sacrifice, Joseph (famous for his amazing Technicolor dream coat) gaining power in Egypt after being sold to slave traders by his brothers, or one of the many other stories of brothers fighting (Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, etc.). The events that have been visualized in movies before (the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, to name but two) pale in comparison to their earlier incarnations, but the bigger picture is that "In the Beginning" works best as the Bible for beginners. "--Andy Spletzer"

Customer Reviews

It takes Bible history and brings it to life.
Mary M. Littlefield
It would be good in future production to add subtitles for All regions.
Geoffrey Moore
This is definitely recommended for the family.
Alex

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By the gunner VINE VOICE on March 24, 2008
Format: DVD
In The Beginning DVD

When I was growing up my Mother gave me a book called the Bible Story Book. It had a child's summary of the great stories from the Bible in it. This DVD gives you the same thing, but in movie fashion. From Adam and Eve to Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.

Highly recommended for people who want their children to learn the Bible / Torah

Gunner March, 2008
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rick on May 13, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I was very impressed with In the Beginning. Are the others reviewers insane? The Prince of Egypt or The Ten Commandments are better films? The Prince of Egypt places the story of the Exodus to about 1220 B.C. and not 1446 B.C. and Heston's Egypt is about as antiseptic as a floor of an operating room. You could perform surgery on those palace floors. Landau and the others are great. At least the script writers read the book you know, you've heard of it, The Bible. In the Beginning is biblically accurate and outdoes the current Jesus films, the Noah's Ark fiasco and some of the TNT films. This gives me firm confidence that NBC has writers that are literate unlike the other networks.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2004
Format: DVD
Originally a 4-hour miniseries for NBC, with a large international cast of well-known actors, this telling of parts of the first five books of the Bible is interesting, and on the whole flows well, though it crams a lot of story into one film, therefore skipping many major events.

It starts with Abraham, as he travels to the land of Canaan, in about 2000 B.C., and along the way he recites the narrative of the Creation (which has some nice visuals), the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, their temptation (the fruit here looks more like a small fig in a very thorny tree) and their expulsion from Eden.

There are some fine performances, among them Martin Landau as Abraham, Jacqueline Bisset as Sarah, Bill Campbell as Moses, Amanda Donohoe as Potiphar's wife, and Fred Weller as Jacob. Eddie Cibrian as Joseph seems at first out of place, looking more like a modern day hunk, but he grows with the part, and has the most touching scene in the film, when he is reunited with his father Jacob. In the small part of Jethro, the great Alan Bates is marvelous. Other name actors include Diana Rigg (mature Rebeccah), Geraldine Chaplin (Yocheved), David Warner (Eliezer), and Christopher Lee is a theatrical, entertaining Ramses I.

At times there's quite a bit of license taken with scripture (for instance, there is some incredulous dialogue between Moses and Jethro after the parting of the sea, where Moses doesn't seem to have much faith in God), and similar to other TV Bible films, the parts that take place in Egypt are full of gaudy sets and costumes, as well as some characters who have an almost Alice Cooper look in the makeup department, especially Pharaoh's magician (Victor Spinetti).

Filmed in Morocco, with lovely cinematography and score, this one is certainly worth a rental if you like Bible epics.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Charles Neff on February 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The Good: the film stayed very true to the books of Genesis and Exodus and presented them in a way that was entertaining and easy to follow. This would be a good introduction for those with little experience with the Hebrew Bible, or could be used in conjunction with a Bible study. The Bad: the film presented the story without any of the "bad" parts recorded in the Bible. Sarai being given over twice to another man (Gen 12:10-20; 20) was left out, as was Jacob's relations with the servants of his 2 wives (Gen 30:1-13), the rape of Dinah (Gen 34), and Moses brush with death (Ex 4:24-26). Portraying the Patriarchs as purely saintly overlooks their humanly faults that the Bible conveys without pretext. The Hoaky: the make-up and sets were excellent throughout the film, but when it came time for the plagues and the exodus, the hoaky special effects and the over-the-top acting on the part of the Egyptians ruined the last 30 minutes. But overall, it was a worthwhile film, an excellent adaptation of the Biblical story. This would make a good addition to your family video library or a good donation to your church library.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elisheva on March 8, 2004
Format: DVD
I recommend this movie to anyone who desires to know more about the events that occurred in the Old Testament, this is a close as you'll get to the actually truth. I bought the VHS and was so pleased with the characters, costumes, location and scenes that I loaned the movie to friends and other family members. Well, somewhere along lending it out someone liked it so much never returned it to me. So, I purchased another one. I also own the Ten Commandments and it is a good movie as well, however, if you know the Bible, you will also know that Mose had no romantic relationship with an Egyptian princess. (this love triangle was added to the movie). All I say is if you want to know what really happened in biblical times, buy this movie. I'm sure after you've seen the movie it will build up your curiousity to read the bible. It's a keeper.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bryan E. Leed on September 2, 2005
Format: DVD
I like this DVD. Martin Landau is once again good in yet another Bible movie for him. The best treat is Jacqueline Bisset as the prettiest Sarah that I have seen in a Bible DVD!

They show Abraham telling Bible stories to his people, then they move into the Abraham story, and on through the story of Joseph. It's an acceptable made-for-TV attempt with familiar actors and a decent attempt to be true to the essence of the Bible stories.

This film from 2000 is from Hallmark/FHE/Artisan, who made a monster the year before, with their 1999 version of NOAH'S ARK, starring Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen. STAY AWAY from that version of Noah's Ark! But it is really surprising that a year later they made this one, IN THE BEGINNING, which is actually quite good.
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