Generally I review new movies that are about to be released or have recently been released. Occasionally I will review an older one that comes my way. Today I’d like to review The Robe, a movie that is older than me.
The Robe is well known among serious Christian filmmakers as a brilliant movie that seamlessly integrates faith into story. Today I watched it for the first time, and although it is definitely a classic movie and quite different from modern, it stands the test of time. I can understand why it won two Oscars and was nominated for three more. It’s a masterpiece.
The Robe is the story of Marcellus, a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus’ homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares and delusions after the event. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, and still not believing in Jesus, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he killed.
Like most great movies, it starts off complex. It takes awhile to figure out who’s who and what’s going on. That’s a good thing. Slowly you get to know the characters and to love or hate them as the case may be.The characters are dimensional and relatable. They struggle. None are perfect.
The two Oscars that The Robe won were for art and costume, and those were my favorite aspects of the movie as well. It was a truly stunning movie to watch. The sets were great and visually interesting, and the costuming was exquisite. I’ve been in many a period play and made many a biblical costume, but these costumes were works of art. They were definitely the most beautiful costumes I’ve seen in a biblical production.
The movie did not end the way I expected. Yet the ending made perfect sense. It was a dramatic ending rather than a tacked on ending. I would encourage anyone looking for a classic movie with a powerful faith-based story to check out The Robe.