Tuesday, December 29, 2020

By the Gods!

Jean Marais, as Pilate, in a spectacular scene from PONTIUS PILATE (1962)

Does anyone like this movie? Personally, I like it but I don't love it. I *love* looking it but I don't like watching it, if that makes any sense. The production is excellent: beautiful photography, sets, costumes, settings, cast, all A+. Visually, it's PEPLUM porn. Unfortunately, the screenplay is a C-. Such a beautiful looking movie saddled with a disappointing script (from 7 writers). At one point, there's an 'arena' scene with men in boats trying to stay afloat while battling crocodiles in a quarry filled with water. Pontius watches on. It's supposed to be spectacular but it's more awkward than anything else. The scene lasts about two minutes but the setting up of the set and cast must have cost a lot. Jean Marais as Pilate was perfect casting. There's so much going for it. One could view this simply as a PEPLUM version of Pontius Pilate but it's not satisfying enough on that level (it's more drama than action). Scenes of the construction of the aqueduct were re-used in other PEPLUM movies.


Graham Sumner said...

Graham Sumner wrote:

I have a German copy on DVD. The costumes are not bad and as you point out some of the scenes are very spectacular.
How many movies for example show the building of aqueducts!

Although it is not well known I thought it worth including in my recent series on Roman epics for Ancient History magazine.

It was included alongside the more familiar epic Barabbas 1961 as they share some similar historical episodes.

PEPLUM TV said...

Hi Graham

Yes, both BARABBAS and this movie share similar things.

For me the most apparent is that the movies are speculative in nature.