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The Bible ... In the Beginning

4.2 out of 5 stars 478 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The greatest stories of the Old Testament are brought to the screen with astounding scope and power in this international film which depicts the first 22 chapters of Genesis. This is the spectacular story of man's creation, his fall, his survival and his indomitable faith in the future. From the film's opening amidst cosmic chaos, to its lingering message of hope and salvation, "The Bible" stands as a monumental motion picture achievement.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Parks, Ulla Bergryd, Richard Harris, John Huston, Stephen Boyd
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Writers: Christopher Fry, Ivo Perilli, Jonathan Griffin, Mario Soldati, Orson Welles
  • Producers: Dino De Laurentiis
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2001
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (478 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NKT6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,650 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bible ... In the Beginning" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I do not understand why most critics have very few good things to say about this movie. Okay, maybe the atmosphere is a little dead at times, and perhaps there could be more dialogue, but overall this is one of the most beautiful biblical stories I've ever seen. A superb cast - including Michael Parks as Adam, Ulla Bergryd as Eve, Richard Harris as Cain, George C. Scott as Abraham, and Ava Gardner as Sarah - bring warmth and sensitivity to the familier stories. John Huston's somewhat comical portrayal of Noah is definitely the highlight of the film. I first saw this movie when I was very young. I now own it and watch it often. The script sounds like it was taken directly from the Bible itself. The opening dialogue is, of course, "In the beginning..." The creation scenes which follow are simply magnificant. And the music which coincides with it is just beautiful. Right now I have that image of the birds in flight and the raging sea waters. The one scene which gets me every time ( and which I keep rewinding to see ) is the scene with Hagar and Ishmael in the desert. The spring of water bursting up through the ground at Hagar's feet is one of the most moving moments in the entire movie. This film is definitely worth seeing. Never mind what the critics say.
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Format: VHS Tape
Legendary director John Huston's "The Bible...In the Beginning" is something of a mixed bag. Though undeniably reverent and generally (though not totally) faithful to the original Scriptures, Huston's film is ultimately epic in scope but too often cold and unmoving. There are certainly some fine scenes, particularly in the Creation , the story of the Garden of Eden (Adam and Eve's storm-shrouded exile from Paradise is perhaps the most powerful moment in the whole film), Cain and Abel, and an especially moving interlude between Abraham and only son Isaac in the ruins of sinful Sodom. But Huston fails to make the movie emotionally appealing on a consistent basis, so that what should have been an enthralling picture is merely adequate--which, after all, is not so bad. The cast is very powerful, featuring Richard Harris, Ava Gardner, George C. Scott, Peter O'Toole, and Huston himself as an endearing Noah. If only Huston had let his performers live a little on camera, this might have rivaled The Ten Commandments. As it is, the whole is respectable but flawed, too passionless and slow-paced to match The Ten Commandment's grandeur. Even so, "The Bible" does bring the opening chapters of Scripture to life, and if this movie is not thrilling, it is nonetheless enlightening.
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Format: VHS Tape
This film is entertaining on many levels, and if you appreciate good art direction, you'll enjoy this film.
The cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno, and the classical score by Toshiro Mayuzumi are also superb.
Outstanding are the first 15 minutes, with director Huston narrating a mix of verses from Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 (KJV), and I have a special fondness for the sprawling "Tree of Knowledge", with its strange looking white leaves.
Other favorite sections:
The great Richard Harris, fabulous in a highly choreographed telling of the Cain and Abel story.
The animals going into Noah's Ark, with its wonderful music, is a delight for kids of all ages.
The Tower of Babel, as an awesome ziggurat, with Stephen Boyd looking simply stunning in exotic makeup.
Peter O'Toole as the Angel, always a fascinating actor, and even in a small part, a scene stealer.
Yes, it's abysmally slow in parts, especially in the final Abraham section, which could have used some serious editing. A half an hour could easily have been cut from this portion, and also, this is where most of the stilted dialogue can be found...but nevertheless, even though it dwindles as the film progresses, this telling of the first 22 chapters of Genesis is one I've seen numerous times, and am sure to view again.
My tape is unfortunately, on the dark side, but still a visual treat at its best.
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Format: DVD
1966: Huston's film covers the first twenty chapters of Genesis- from the Creation, the Flood to Isaac's near sacrifice. With lush cinematography, fine acting and superb music. Richard Harris, Ava Gardner, George C. Scott and Peter O'Toole are among the cast. In the 60's, and in fact years before in the 50's, the bible dramas were quite popular and appealed to many audiences who had undergone war and conflict from home- it was the turbulent 60's after all. The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur were transcendent films only a couple of years before.
Making a film about the first book in the Bible, the most mysterious and most alluring, Genesis, must not have been an easy task for director John Huston, nor was it easy enough for actors portraying biblical characters. But this film is exquisite, well-done with fine performances by the actors, most notably Richard Harris as Noah and George C. Scott as Abraham. The actor and actress playing Adam and Eve are just as most of us imagine them to be - gorgeous in the nude, walking around a beautiful, semi-tropical garden and being seduced by the apple in a tree which a treacherous snake deceived them into eating.
The film goes on to describe the biblical scenario established before the Flood, of humankind's lechery and vice in Sodom and Gomorrah, and God's wrath resulting in destruction. Very powerful imagery and very fine interpretation. It is not just a Christian or Catholic film, it is a film worth watching just for the moving drama. After all, life is but a drama, a film of which we all take part of. The music to this film is also very inspiring, although subtle and haunting. "The Bible.. In The Beginning" (as this film is often called) makes a great assignment to watch in a college or high school in which students read the Bible as a form of literature and work of human history, mainly that of the ancient Hebrews.
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