Salome (1953)

 

 

Director:  William Dieterle

Starring:  Rita Hayworth, Stewart Granger, Charles Laughton, Judith Anderson, Cedric Hardwicke, Maurice Schwartz

This is an o.k. picture.  Nothing special.  You do, however, learn more about Biblical history.

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 


In the year 26 B.C. Pontius Pilate becomes governor of Judea.

Tiberius Caesar (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) forbids the marriage of his nephew Marcellus Fabius to the Princes Salome of Galilee (Rita Hayworth) because she is a barbarian. Salome is banished back to Galilee where she has not been since a very small girl.

On the same ship back to Galilee with Salome are Pontius Pilate (Basil Sydney), the new Roman Governor of the area, and Commander Claudius (Stewart Granger).   Claudius is immediately captivated by Salome, but she is not interested.  

Back in Galilee, Salome is reunited with her stepfather, King Herod of Galilee (Charles Laughton), and her mother, Queen Herodias (Judith Anderson).  

In Galilee the prophet John the Baptist (Alan Badel) is causing great concern among the authorities because he is preaching resistance to the rule of Herod and his Roman backers. Queen Herodias wants John killed immediately because John has called her an adulteress, a crime punishable by stoning by the people.  But King Herod is afraid to kill John because he believes John is the Messiah and because of the prophecy that he soever kills the Messiah will die a violent death.  The Queen and King plot and maneuver against each other with the fate of John the Baptist in the balance.  

Rita Hayworth does her famous dance of the seven veils before her lascivious step-father in an attempt to save the life of John the Baptist, the cousin and baptizer of Jesus of Nazareth.  Alan Badel is a little hard to take as John the Baptist because he either has the look of a blind-man or the far away look of a madman.  

In 28 B.C. Herod orders the execution of John the Baptist, via his stepdaughter Salome (carefully coached by his wife Herodias).

 

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