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Salome
     

Salome

Director: William Dieterle

Cast: Rita Hayworth, Stewart Granger, Charles Laughton

 

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"Her Salome Will Steal Your Breath Away" was the classic advertising slogan attached to this opulent Rita Hayworth epic -- a slogan which became laughable whenever a radio announcer would mispronounce Salome as "salami." Using the very sketchy Biblical story of the death of John the Baptist as its springboard, Salome depicts its title character, the

Overview

"Her Salome Will Steal Your Breath Away" was the classic advertising slogan attached to this opulent Rita Hayworth epic -- a slogan which became laughable whenever a radio announcer would mispronounce Salome as "salami." Using the very sketchy Biblical story of the death of John the Baptist as its springboard, Salome depicts its title character, the stepdaughter of King Herod, as a victim of circumstance rather than a wanton temptress. Banished from Rome because of an unfortunate romance with the nephew of Caesar, Salome (Rita Hayworth) declares that all men are her enemies, but her resolve weakens when she falls in love with Claudius (Stewart Granger), the military commander of Galilee. Meanwhile, Salome's wicked mother, Herodias (Judith Anderson), plots the demise of John the Baptist (Alan Badel), who currently enjoys the protection of the superstitious Herod (Charles Laughton). At this point, the story departs radically from Scripture. Salome is no longer coerced by Herodias to demand the head of John the Baptist; instead, Herodias, on her own, promises Herod that Salome will perform the "Dance of the Seven Veils" for him -- but only if he beheads John first (Salome has been misinformed that the dance will save John from the headsman's sword). Somehow, scriptwriter Jesse Lasky Jr. even manages to concoct a happy ending for poor Salome, which is a lot more than Oscar Wilde or Richard Strauss were able to do. Considered an artistic flop in 1953, Salome seems somewhat better today, if only because of that powerhouse cast.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Most films with a script as ludicrous as that created for Salome would be sunk from the first utterance -- but most such films don't have Rita Hayworth to portray a sultry, earthy yet naïve sex symbol. Hayworth and Salome were meant for each other, and it doesn't matter how much ridiculous dialogue or outrageous Hollywood plot changes one has to wade through, as long as the climactic "Dance of the Seven Veils" is worth the trip. Hayworth makes it worth the trip and more; as an added bonus, she handles the rest of her characterization skillfully as well. It's a bit overwrought, of course, but that's what is demanded by the screenplay, and she obliges in the most entertaining way possible. The oily, unctuous, and delicious Charles Laughton and the conniving, malicious, and equally delicious Judith Anderson also make an asset out of over-the-top acting, making up for the atrocious performance of Alan Badel. Stewart Granger turns in a relatively subdued portrayal that works, even if it does seem a bit out of sync with the larger theatrical style surrounding it. William Dieterle's direction is heavy-handed, understandable under the circumstances, but it could have benefited from greater imagination. Filled with delightfully lurid color, Salome is a fun wallow, even if it's far from great art.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/02/2013
UPC:
0043396427716
Original Release:
1953
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Sales rank:
4,646

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rita Hayworth Princess Salome
James Stewart Commander Claudius
Charles Laughton King Herod
Judith Anderson Queen Herodias
Cedric Hardwicke Caesar Tiberius
Basil Sydney Pontius Pilate
Maurice Schwartz Ezra
Arnold Moss Micha
Alan Badel John the Baptist
Rex Reason Marcellus Fabius
Robert Warwick Courier
Carmen D'Antonio Salome's Servant
Michael Granger Capt. Quintus
Karl (Killer) Davis Slave Master
Asoka Oriental Dance Team
Theda Bara Salome
Genevieve Blinn Queen Marian
Barry Brooks Roman Guard
Bruce Cameron Actor
Eduardo Cansino Roman Guard
Tristram Coffin Actor
John Crawford Guard
Don de Leo Actor
Leslie Denison Court Attendant
Italia Denubila Actor
Vera Doria Naomi
Henry Escalante Actor
Alfred Fremont Galla
Leonard George Assassin
Bertram Grassby Prince David
Tom Hernandez Townsman
Herbert Heyes Sejanus
Paul Hoffman Actor
Duke Johnson Juggling Specialty
George Keymas Actor
George Khoury Actor
Guy Kingsford Officer
David Leonard Actor
Jack Low Actor
Michael Mark Old Farmer
William McCormick Advisor
Tina Menard Convert
Ralph Moody Actor
Lou Nova Executioner
G. Raymond Nye King Herod
John Parrish Actor
Franz Roehn Actor
Albert Roscoe John the Baptist
Maurice Samuels Actor
Sam Scar Politician
Mickey Simpson Herod's Captain of the Guards
Charles Soldani Actor
Sujata Actor
Carlo Tricoli Actor
Rick Vallin Sailor
Charles Wagenheim Simon
Trevor Ward Blind Man
Stanley Waxman Patrician
William Wilkerson Actor
Carleton Young Actor
Ray Beltram Actor
Joe Sawaya Actor
Fred Letuli Actor
John E. Wood Sword Dancer
Jerry Pina Actor
Henry Pina Actor
Earl Brown Actor
Bud Cokes Galilean Soldiers
Eva Hyde Herodias' Servant
David Ahdar Actor
Dimas Sotello Actor
Henry Dar Boggia Actor
Robert Ben Ali Actor
Eddy Fields Actor
Saul Martell Dissenting Scholar
Frederic Berest Actor

Technical Credits
William Dieterle Director
Buddy Adler Producer
Daniele Amfitheatrof Score Composer
Valerie Bettis Choreography
Clay Campbell Makeup
George Duning Score Composer
William Kiernan Set Decoration/Design
Harry Kleiner Original Story,Screenwriter
Charles B. Lang Cinematographer
Jesse Lasky Original Story
Viola Lawrence Editor
Jean Louis Costumes/Costume Designer
John Meehan Art Director
Emile Santiago Costumes/Costume Designer
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Salome
1. Chapter 1 [10:45]
2. Chapter 2 [11:22]
3. Chapter 3 [9:17]
4. Chapter 4 [9:31]
5. Chapter 5 [10:37]
6. Chapter 6 [10:20]
7. Chapter 7 [8:49]
8. Chapter 8 [8:26]
9. Chapter 9 [11:39]
10. Chapter 10 [9:47]
11. Chapter 11 [2:11]

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