Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Early 60s 20th Century Fox double bill

THE STORY OF RUTH and FRANCIS OF ASSISI. I remember seeing these two back in 1960 and 1961 - when I would have been 14 and 15, we liked those lush 20th Century Fox cinemascope period movies then. I had never seen them since, so its been fun revisting them now.

Inspired by the tale from Hebrew scriptures and the Christian Bible, the Moabitess child Ruth is sold to the temple of Chemosh. Years pass and she serves as a priestess to the idol. While arranging a temple ritual, she encounters a Judean family of artisans: Elimelech, his wife Naomi, their sons Chilion and Mahlon, and daughter-in-law Orpah. Ruth is curious about their God, and begins to meet secretly with Mahlon. After tragedy strikes, Ruth follows Naomi and begins a new life in Bethlehem...

THE STORY OF RUTH is a perfect biblical - up there with THE PRODIGAL, SAMSON & DELILAH, and even THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, as we follow Ruth (Elana Eden) from being a child sold into being a priestess for a pagan cult (Viveca Lindfors is a very slinky high priestess) to her meeting and falling for Tom Tryon and the invisible god he believes in. As another virgin is sacrificed to that pagan idol Ruth rebels and escapes. 

Elana Eden is attractive and fascinating - its her only main credit. Israeli actresses were popular then, Haya Harareet in BEN HUR, and Daliah Lavi being others busy then. Tom Tryon and Stuart Whitman are the men in Ruth's life, and Peggy Wood is marvellous as the wise Naomi. Biblical life is nicely depicted too, Fox makes it look good and its all handled by veteran Henry Koster. A nice re-view now. Good dvd transfer too.
FRANCIS OF ASSISI. They went to Italy for this one, so it looks great at the real locations, and the costumes and sets look authentic. The cast is the problem. Fox players Bradford Dillman (a rather dull Francis) and Stuart Whitman are the leads. Dolores Hart is Clare (she is of course a real nun now), and the supporting cast features Finlay Currie and Athene Seyler. Old Timer Michael Curtiz directs, its one of his last movies. It follows the story of St Francis fairly faithfully if dully. I much preferred Zeffirelli's BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON in 1973, and of course Rossellini's 1950 film on St Francis. 

No comments:

Post a Comment