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KJB: The Book That Changed the World (2011)

John Rhys-Davies  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Rhys-Davies
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004K6FS5W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,396 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

• Interview with John Rhys-Davies
• Expert Interviews
• Filmmaker Commentary

Editorial Reviews

Acclaimed actor John Rhys-Davies visits landmarks, explains relics and leads us back into a darker time to discover this fascinating tale of saints and sinners, power and passion, as the greatest translation of Holy Scripture emerges into a world and culture that would never be quite the same again.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glorious... but some of the riches are hidden April 16, 2011
"KJB: The Amazing Tale of the birth of the King James Bible" can best be described as a "celebration" of the Authorized Version, released to mark the occasion of its 400th anniversary this year. A docu-drama narrated and hosted by John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), the film takes the viewer through the tumultuous times which led up to the publication of the KJB in 1611. Produced by IA Productions and Lionsgate as a direct-to-DVD release, it is a film clearly targeted to a Protestant Christian audience and, to a lesser degree, British history enthusiasts. While for many this may appear as condemnation, given the often poor quality of many "Christian" films and documentaries, KJB comes off quite well when compared with many mainstream historical docu-drams and may be of interest to a general audience as well.
Overall production values were quite good, even lavish, with excellent cinematography, music and editing. There was none of the repetitive use of "money shots" so beloved of directors of low-budget doc TV. What was perhaps most distinct about this production were the longer than normal dramatic sequences. At times, these "mini-dramas" were so extensive and engrossing as to almost threaten to derail the documentary through-line.
On their own, these dramas were quite good, and when compared with other recent depictions of the Tudor and Stuart eras, were refreshingly unglamorous. Paola Dionisotti as Elizabeth I, with her eccentric mannerisms and hilariously askew fright wig, presents a far less varnished (and perhaps more accurate) version of the Virgin Queen than the recent iconic portrayals by Cate Blanchet and Dame Helen Mirren. The bulk of the dramatic narrative, however, is given over to Andrew Rothney as James VI and I.
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. The King James Bible has shaped the English language, inspired political and religious thought for generations and, arguably, changed the world.

The story behind the King James Bible has been told before. And several new books this year will aim to tell it again. 1A Productions and Lions Gate studio have created a first class documentary featuring John Rhys-Davies which puts this story on screen. And the result is almost as breathtaking as the powerful prose of the King James Bible itself.

"KJB: The Book That Changed the World" takes us on a historical survey of the years preceding 1611 and the political and religious landscape which confronted the new King. The story follows James I from his birth to his ultimate ascension to the English throne. Particular focus is placed on the role the King James Bible would play in James' strategy to unify the landscape, politically and religiously.

Director and producer, Norman Stone does a fantastic job of capturing the life of Jacobean England with all of its intrigue. The plot of Guy Fawkes is detailed in memorable fashion. Filmed on location in England and Scotland, the film takes one inside Westminster Abbey and Oxford College to some of the actual rooms where the translators labored over their charge. The photography and quality of the film is superb, countrysides and cathedrals alike are displayed in all their evocative power.

John Rhys-Davies exudes energy and vigor in his lively narration. His booming, deep voice adds to the grandeur of the story. At one point he climbs up into the pulpit of a centuries-old church to read from the pages of the King James Bible.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars KJB - Creation of the King James Version Bible May 29, 2011
By jfield1
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
KJB: The Book That Changed the World DVD is both a movie and a documentary. Fascinating in its account of the reasons for the creation of the KJV Bible, the attempt to overthrow the King, Parliament, and the birth of this new version and the affect the KJV had on the English language and Western Culture. James was not a manipulated royal puppet nor was he the saint many have made him out to be but he was an intelligent human being with strength, vision and determination that exceeded his idiosyncrasies and helped offset his faults. In other words he was an above average human. John Rhys-Davies was the perfect host, narrator and guide for this subject and thoroughly entertaining.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding! This movie goes beyond the five stars I can give it. Of the movies I have seen this year, this one stands out as being one of, if not, the best. Whoa! That doesn't mean that I don't get out or watch movies much, it does mean that this production has many elements that make it far better than the uninspired rhetoric we are getting from Hollywood these days. It also has content that draws you into the story and makes answering the phone or door much too much of a bother. But, I dare say it is even more than that.

What does it have to make it so good? An exceptionally well acted recreation of the story behind the making of the biggest selling book of all time, the King James Version of the Bible. Narrated by John Rhys Davies, a man who puts himself into the story rather than being a distant voice droning on behind the scenes, shows a passion for the story himself and it is clearly evident. The acting is superb and those portraying known characters represent them with astounding accuracy.

What it doesn't have is any proselytizing or overt religious biases. Considering where such a production might go, this one is in it for the story, not an alter call. The added features, though few, are worth commenting on. The interviews behind the making of the movie are moderately interesting and conducted well. However, the separate interview with Mr. Davies is definitely worth watching and adds a bit of a twist to the whole thing. When they asked him at least one question, you wondered if the DVD had stuck as he took a little longer than one would expect him to answer, but he did and perhaps not the way you were thinking he would.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very informative
Published 8 days ago by karyn
5.0 out of 5 stars But King James was portrayed as a much better man than other sources I...
This was exceptionally well done. But King James was portrayed as a much better man than other sources I have read. I would like to think of him as good as he was portrayed. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Virginia Jolliff
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a mustwatch for any Christian
This is a must watch for any Christian. The story of how the bible came to be is truly worth watching. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Ray R. Mccall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 25 days ago by Judy Ann Robinson
2.0 out of 5 stars Opportunity Missed: celebratory, not scholarly
The main feature is too devoted to politics and a rather celebratory view of James I while, as noted by another reviewer, misrepresenting his sexuality. Read more
Published 1 month ago by geezer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
For showing the history behind the man that desired to have an accurate translation of the bible this takes the cake. Doesn't delve into the texts used and the reasons why. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this movie
Fascinating. I thought King James was just a common king who commissioned a bunch of scholars to do the translation, then signed off on it. Boy was I wrong. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Allen Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good!
I'll be honest. I settled for this film, when I was really looking for a movie on Thomas Cranmer and really found nothing to fit what I was looking for. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Westlund
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the history of the KJV unfold in this docudrama. Beautiful scenery and costumes abound in this well done historical dvd.
Published 2 months ago by Esther
5.0 out of 5 stars the book that changed the world
This is a very informative movie. I had heard of the writing of the King James Bible but seeing the movie made the facts
fit better.Glad I bought this one.
Published 2 months ago by Lance Garrett
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