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The Robe [Blu-ray] (1953)

Richard Burton , Jean Simmons , Henry Koster  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)

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The Robe [Blu-ray] + The Ten Commandments [Blu-ray] + Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Michael Rennie, Jay Robinson
  • Directors: Henry Koster
  • Writers: Albert Maltz, Gina Kaus, Lloyd C. Douglas, Philip Dunne
  • Producers: Frank Ross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NSLE4Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,587 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Robe [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

The first movie ever filmed in CinemaScope, THE ROBE ws nominated for five Academy Awards in 1953, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Richard Burton. Burton stars as Marcellus Galilo, the Roman centurian charged with overseeing the crucifixion. But when he wins Christ's robe in a gambling game at the foot of the cross, his life is forever changed. Includes an introduction by Martin Scorsesse, and commentary from composer David Newman, and film historians Jon Burlingame, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
154 of 161 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Biblical Epic October 28, 2001
Format:DVD
The Robe is most famous now for being the first movie filmed in CinemaScope. It was not the first film shot in a widescreen process. There were a few experiments with widescreen in the twenties and thirties, but The Robe was the film which started the boom in the production of widescreen epics. The Robe therefore has a definite and important place in cinema history, but this would mean little today if it were not also a fine film in its own right. In this respect it does not disappoint. The story tells of Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton), a Roman tribune sent to Palestine who oversees the crucifixion of Christ. He wins Christ's robe in a dice game, little realising the significance it will have for him. Burton is very good in this role and shows what a fine film actor he could be. Victor Mature is also entertaining as Demetrius, Burton's slave and later his friend. Best of all the film shows Jean Simmons at her best, playing Diana the woman Burton loves. My only complaint about her role is that she does not appear on screen enough.
Biblical epics may not be terribly fashionable nowadays, but I've always enjoyed them and The Robe is one of the best of the genre. It describes the events surrounding the familiar Biblical stories using characters from the Bible and fictional characters to flesh out the narrative. In this way it rather resembles how Ben Hur interweaves the Biblical story with fictional events of Ben Hur's life. This technique works well in The Robe and makes for fine historical fiction with a religious theme.
The print used for the Twentieth Century Fox DVD is in good condition. The CinemaScope images have been anamorphically enhanced and look stunning. The colours are bright and clear and there is hardly any visible damage. The sound likewise is good with no background noise. This DVD only has some trailers for extras, but anyone who enjoys Biblical epics will want to get The Robe.
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "as for me, I have found another king" April 27, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
A marvelous epic melodrama, with portions that are emotionally stirring, and with two exceedingly attractive stars, this film ranks high in the "sword and sandals" genre.
This is prime-time Richard Burton, at age 27, heavenly to look at and even better to listen to; his crisp enunciation makes the English language shine, and though some of his scenes are a little "over the top", he carries them off with charismatic presence. Jean Simmons is exquisite as Diana, the woman who has loved Marcellus (Burton) since childhood, and their screen romance has a rare depth and spark.
Other notable performances come from Victor Mature as Demetrius the slave, with a mute but moving scene at Christ's crucifixion, and Michael Rennie is grand as Peter. Jay Robinson is wonderfully rotten as the vicious Caligula.
I always like a good fight sequence, and there is a brilliantly choreographed one between Marcellus and a centurion. It is the kind of swordplay great Shakespearean actors have perfected, and it is a delight to watch.
Directed by Henry Koster, it has an exceptional score by Alfred Newman, and vibrant Technicolor cinematography by Leon Shamroy. I like the way the night scenes have a deep blue glow to them, and the costumes are wonderful. Oscars went to Best Art Direction/Set Design (color) and Best Costume design (color). It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Cinematography (color), and was the first film to be released in CinemaScope.
I saw this film many years ago, and had thought it a little silly, but we have both aged well; I can now watch it repeatedly, and appreciate the depictions of courage, and the beauty and humanity of it. Total running time is 2 hours and 13 minutes.
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Robe -- RESTORED on Blu-ray! March 19, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I was blown away watching "The Robe" on Blu-ray disc last night. I've never seen it like this. The richness in detail is exhilarating. The score sounds incredible, especially on Audio Channel 6 (isolated). It's long been one of my top 5 favorite scores and Fox Home Entertainment (FHE) served the film and the soundtrack very well with this massive restoration.

FHE spent the most money in this restoration on the soundtrack according to the man in charge of the project, Shawn Belston, VP of Library and Technical Services for FHE, in a chat he had with Ronald Epstein of Home Theater Forum this past Monday evening. They even removed the "wow", which is likely a costly process, but a process well worthwhile in such endeavors.

The entire score is isolated, and it has NEVER sounded better. I noted, however, that in the "Rescue of Demetrius" sequence as Marcellus and other men were preparing to burst in on the torture room, the mix wasn't what I am used to hearing and that some rather interesting string work is more sublimated. I won't be selling off my fantastic 2-CD soundtrack any time in the future, I can tell you, but there is more than enough totally exhilarating music in this isolated score to make folks VERY, VERY happy!

I noted for the first time in all my many viewings of the film that the photography is quite special -- master cinematographer Leon Shamroy did some incredible work during his career, but most folks know him as the man behind those special filters for "South Pacific". His work on many films, including "Cleopatra", is exquisite. Here, working with a brand new medium, you can see the extraordinary efforts Shamroy went to in order to "properly light" his shots, especially those where the only light sources were oil lamps or torches.
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