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The Robe

4.1 15
Director: Henry Koster

Cast: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature


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Historically important as the first CinemaScope feature film, 20th Century-Fox's The Robe is fine dramatic entertainment in its own right. Based on the best-selling novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, the film stars Richard Burton as the wastrelly Roman tribune who is assigned by a weary Pontius Pilate (Richard Boone, who spends the whole of his single scene washing his


Historically important as the first CinemaScope feature film, 20th Century-Fox's The Robe is fine dramatic entertainment in its own right. Based on the best-selling novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, the film stars Richard Burton as the wastrelly Roman tribune who is assigned by a weary Pontius Pilate (Richard Boone, who spends the whole of his single scene washing his hands) to supervise the crucifixion of Christ. After the Seven Last Words, the jaded Burton wins Christ's robe in a dice game. Gradually, the mystical influence of the holy garment transforms Burton from a roistering cynic into a True Believer--at the cost of his own life, which he willingly gives up in the service of his Lord. Also starring in The Robe are Jean Simmons as Burton's pious childhood sweetheart, Victor Mature as his Christian-convert slave Demetrius (an excellent performance--in fact, Mature is more believable than Burton!), Michael Rennie as the disciple Peter, and Jay Robinson as the raving Emperor Caligula. Mature, Rennie and Robinson would appear in the 1954 sequel to The Robe, the hurriedly assembled Demetrius and the Gladiators. Watch and listen for the unbilled contributions of Michael Ansara as Judas and Cameron Mitchell as the voice of Jesus. The film won three Academy Awards, and a special Oscar bestowed upon Fox for the development of CinemaScope. For many years, the TV prints of the Robe were struck from the "flat," standard-ratio version shot simultaneously with the widescreen version. Only recently has the CinemaScope The Robe been made available to cable TV (shown in "letterbox" format to allow home viewers the full picture).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Robe is best remembered as the first movie shot in CinemaScope, the wide-screen format designed to lure audiences away from the new medium of TV by exaggerating the contrast between the big movie screen and the small TV screen. Even today, the film seems grand and sweeping; the mere spectacle is enough to make it worth seeing. Some of the performances may seem dated today -- particularly Richard Burton's Oscar-nominated turn as the centurion -- but they don't detract from the film's intriguing premise. Best-known for helming 1950's Harvey, the dependable Henry Koster keeps the material in check. The success of The Robe, as well as Quo Vadis? (1951) and Samson and Delilah (1949) before it, helped usher in more than a decade's worth of lavish Biblical epics, including The Ten Commandments (1956) and the multi-Oscar-winning Ben-Hur (1959).

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Introduction by Martin Scorsese; Commentary with film composer David Newman and film historians Jon Burlingame, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman; Isolated Score: The Music of the Robe - Alfred Newman's score; The Making of the Robe featurette; The Cinemascope Story featurette; From Scripture to Script: The Bible and Hollywood featurette; Audio interview with Philip Dunne (1969); Bonusview Picture-in-Picture - The Robe Times Two: A Comparision of Widescreen and Standard Versions; Bonusview Picture-in-Picture - A Seamless Faith - The Real-Life Search for the Robe featurette; Fox Movietonews; Still galleries; Interactive pressbook

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Burton Marcellus Gallio
Jean Simmons Diana
Victor Mature Demetrius
Michael Rennie Peter
Jay Robinson Caligula
Dean Jagger Justus
Torin Thatcher Sen. Gallio
Richard Boone Pilate
Jeff Morrow Paulus
Ernst Thesiger Tiberius
Dawn Addams Junia
Leon Askin Abidor
Helen Beverly Rebecca
Frank Pulaski Quintus
David Leonard Marcipor
Michael Ansara Judas
Jay Novello Tiro
Nicholas Koster Jonathan
Frank de Kova Slave Dealer
Harry Shearer David
Francis Pierlot Dodinius
Thomas Brown Henry Marius
Sally Corner Cornelia
Rosalind Ivan Julia
Anthony Eustrel Sarpedon
Ben A. Astar Cleander
Anne Bancroft Actor
Jean Corbett Actor
Leo Curley Shalum
John Doucette Ship's Mate
Sam Gilman Ship's Captain
Roy Gordon Chamberlain
Percy Helton Caleb
Anthony Jochim Actor
George Keymas Slave
Virginia Lee Specialty Dancer
Emmett Lynn Nathan
Mae Marsh Woman
George H. Melford Actor
Ed Mundy Actor
Alex Pope Actor
Ford Rainey Actor
George Robotham Actor
Hayden Rorke Actor
Gloria Saunders Slave Girl
Marc Snow Auctioneer
George E. Stone Gracchus
Dan Ferniel Actor
Van Des Autels Actor
Betta St. John Miriam
Cameron Mitchell Christ
Bella St. John Actor

Technical Credits
Henry Koster Director
George W. Davis Art Director
Philip Dunne Screenwriter
Paul S. Fox Set Decoration/Design
Bernard Freericks Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Gina Kaus Screenwriter
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Albert Maltz Screenwriter
Barbara McLean Editor
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Ben Nye Makeup
Edward B. Powell Musical Direction/Supervision
Frank Ross Producer
Emile Santiago Costumes/Costume Designer
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director


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The Robe 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a classic video, with superb acting, good editing, and it flows well with no unseemly gaps. Richard Burton does an excellent job as Marcellus, and seeing Victor Mature made me want to find more of his videos. Jay Robinson as the mad emperor Caligula is very good, and Michael Rennie made the best Peter I have seen. The movie is very inspiring, and encourages you to have that close walk with Christ that the first century christians had, so much so that many laid down their lives for Jesus, just as he gave his life for us. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see a video with a real message, yet not presented in a boring way, and there is plenty of action for those of us that like it. This is wholesome and worthwhile entertainment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Robe is one of the great biblical classics. It is a fictional account of a love story between and man and woman. This film demonstrates the power of the gospel as a Roman soldier is turned from self to selflessness through his conversion to faith in Gods love. I would recommend this movie to all who desire entertainment that leaves you feeling inspired instead of lifeless like so many films today. It is ideal for family viewing. The VHS version is not nearly as refined as the DVD edition. The slightly higher cost for the DVD is more than worth the cost.
AT_The_Movies More than 1 year ago
Another choice is King of Kings with Jeffrey Hunter. Great movie for anyone or any christian. The movie is touching, inspiring, emotional and inspiriational.
jrcasey1960 More than 1 year ago
Sadly, Fox chose not to include the simultaneously filmed "flat" version. This BluRay release does include a PIP comparison to the Scope vs. Flat version, but it is available only if you have Blu-Ray Live internet hookup. Really crappy that they didn't bother to include the entire "flat" version. Other interesting extras include a featurette about CinemaScope. A missed opportunity to see the complete "flat" version of the film.
kenKV More than 1 year ago
This Catholic movie is so excellent and explains so clearly.  Thumb up!  I give five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another one of my favorite movies!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Fictional story of a Roman centurion (Richard Burton) who becomes haunted with guilt after witnessing Jesus' crucifixion and winning his robe in a game. He thinks the robe is cursed but, before he can destroy it, the robe is stolen by his Greek slave (Victor Mature.) He converts while in pursuit of his slave but is treated as a madman by his pagan friends and superiors when he returns. His life love (Jean Simmons) saves him from the harsh reprimands of Tiberius and Caligula. Other than Richard Burton and Jean Simmons, the acting is horribly wooden. The plot is being so predictable from the onset it makes one wonder why, other than its appeal to Christian believers, the film has any merit to begin with. The script is saturated with bad dialogue and cliches. The only real merit to the film is as a historical footnote in film technology: it was the first movie to be done in cinemascope. As the saying goes though, 'That's history!' The technology is as antiquated to film as emperors are to modern politics. The norms represented in the film are so typical of the conservative Eisenhower period that it's just plain horrible to watch if not laughable in the context of a period film such as this. The character of Caligula is played as a retarded imbecil who couldn't find his way out of his own house. The real Caligula was a sexually depraved psychopath, not a retarded nit-wit as played in the movie. Tiberius is portrayed as a stern but friendly paternal figure when he was actually a cruel paranoiac pedophile living a secluded life of perversion on his island of Capri with boys and girls to suit his pleasure. This is a good movie for very young children who attend Sunday school and who aren't too demanding as to a historical film's artistic qualities or factual integrity. For mature viewers who demand more from a period film on antiquity, whether it's Biblical in theme or not, this movie is hardly a crowning achievement in cinema.