I’ll be taking the next few days off to enjoy celebrating Easter, so what you will see on my blog beginning Friday (tomorrow) will be reposts of some of my more popular items. I’m going to begin with something that wasn’t read much when it was first posted but in the last quarter has had hits almost continuously day after day. However, no-one has ever commented on it. I don’t know why. I was hoping to have some discussion, dissension, confirmation, something because I think this is an important issue. So, perhaps you will take a few minutes tomorrow to read my repost, Freedom of Speech and the Net.
Last night I watched a DVD of a movie from 1953 called The Robe, based on the book of the same name (a 1940s best seller) by Lloyd C. Douglas. It was the first movie made in “cinemascope” which was pretty impressive at the time. Directed by Henry Coster and starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, and Victor Mature, it was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including best picture. Burton plays a Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio who deliberately baits Caligula (regent under Tiberius, later Emperor) and then finds himself posted to Palestine. His sweetheart (played by Jean Simmons), ward of the Emperor Tiberius, uses her influence to have Marcellus returned to Capri, but not before he is assigned to perform the crucifixion of 3 men, one of whom is Jesus of Nazareth. A bit drunk and a lot disgusted, Marcellus plays dice for Jesus’ robe and wins it. It changes his life forever.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen the movie but it’s been a number of years since the last time I viewed it. I always feel that Victor Mature, who plays Marcellus’ slave, rather overacts but Burton and Simmons are quite wonderful, and the beginning gives a very impressive scope of the amazing Roman Empire. Jay Robinson, who plays Caligula, gives a powerful performance of the demented emperor, and his petty temper tantrums. It gives a pretty accurate account of the plight of the early Christians and was considered an “epic” in its day. * * * *