The Robe
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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 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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The performances are consistently good."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Turgid direction, probably not helped by a necessarily cautious approach to framing, is married to creaky dialogue and stiff performances to render this of purely historical interest."
‑ , Time Out
"Everything, including performances, is turned up to eleven, and what it lacks in finesse it more than makes up for in sheer spectacle."
‑ , Film4
"hackneyed Golden Age hokum"
‑ Bill Gibron,
"Artistically, this historical epic, the first to be released in CinemaScope is mediocre due to Kostler's pedestrian direction."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Pious claptrap."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"It's hard to actively hate anything as deeply earnest as The Robe, but it is a long, tough sit."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Important historically as the first CinemaScope feature film."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Had it not been the first film shot in CinemaScope, very few people would probably still be talking about The Robe."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"an interesting film that compels viewers to consider how they would act in such times"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Tthe mightiness of masses and the forms of heroes have never loomed so large as they do in this studied demonstration, projected by CinemaScope. But an unwavering force of personal drama is missed in the size and the length of the show."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Overblown melodramatic biblical nonsense."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"Insufferably wooden."
‑ David Cornelius,
"Stick with The Ten Commandments, or try watching Fellini Satyricon instead."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Among the interesting qualities The Robe has to offer, its sense of social transcendence ranks among the worthiest, alongside the film's demystification of religion, and decentralization of its protagonists."
‑ Jon Lap, Apollo Guide
More reviews for The Robe on Rotten Tomatoes