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Salome [1953]

Rita Hayworth , Charles Laughton , William Dieterle    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 14.12
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Frequently Bought Together

Salome [1953] + The Loves of Carmen [DVD] [1948] + Affair In Trinidad [DVD] [2006]
Price For All Three: 23.15

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Product details

  • Actors: Rita Hayworth, Charles Laughton, Stewart Granger
  • Directors: William Dieterle
  • Format: Colour, Full Screen, Mono, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: SONY
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KAX8TU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,592 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


In the reign of emperor Tiberius, Gallilean prophet John the Baptist preaches against King Herod and Queen Herodias. The latter wants John dead, but Herod fears to harm him due to a prophecy. Enter beautiful Princess Salome, Herod's long-absent stepdaughter. Herodias sees the king's dawning lust for Salome as her means of bending the king to her will. But Salome and her lover Claudius are (contrary to Scripture) nearing conversion to the new religion. And the famous climactic dance turns out to have unexpected implications...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Salome...she never danced like that here 28 Dec 2012
By Tomlan
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Quo Vadis" had been the big Biblical/Roman hit of the early 1950s. Columbia didn't even try to compete with this very minor entry.

Salome isn't even mentioned in the New Testament, simply as the implied, stepdaughter of Herod Antipas. I've always had a soft spot for the lass, imagining her somewhere between her teens and perhaps 25. At the time of this film, Rita Hayworth was beyond that idea!

Apart from a much-mature Salome, we have the dialogue: "What was it Julius Caesar said...?, spoken by Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Tiberius. Pontius Pilate played as an angry middle-aged-man by Basil Sydney, but best of the lot, Stewart Granger, in leading man mode as the Tribune, who, converted to Christianity by Salome!!! attempts to save the life of John the Baptist, played rather weakly by Alan Badel.

The saving grace is Charles Laughton as Herod Antipas, who at least tried to dignify a rather suspect script.

Rita Hayworth dances Salome's famous dance with graceful abandon, and I mean that respectfully.

This Columbia release had been out for quite a while when I caught it on Amazon. The film will never be up there with DeMille or "Ben-Hur", but it rattles along at a fair pace, and the titles are very bold in that they are set against a red background. Mainly for fans - I hate that term- of Hayworth and Laughton.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A BIBLICAL GEM.....! 23 Feb 2009
I don't know how historically accurate is this film, but it is still quite
close to the biblical events that took place during the Roman occupation of the Holy Land. Rita Hayworth was never lovlier. Immensly enjoyable and should not be missed!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars salome 18 Oct 2012
By good
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
this was a wonderful film was looking for this film for a long time i love it very much 10 out of 10 good acting
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salome-Good Service 7 Jan 2010
Everything went well and I got just what I wanted, very pleased with purchase and service and would use again if needed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defending "Salome" 29 May 2000
By Robert J. Nelson - Published on
Every review of this movie I've ever read has been negative. Yet I have never tired of watching it again and again- the truest test of greatness. The time for me to emerge from the celluloid "guilty pleasures" closet is here. Critical scorn be damned- I adore this movie! I concede that in the beginning of the film the glorious Rita Hayworth's performance is wooden- but how she comes alive at the finale justifies any wait. Once she emerges from behind a pillar in Herod's court concealed in a shimmering sheath of blue- and then slowly and sinuously lowers it to reveal to Herod the answer to his most hedonistic dream- the film becomes a cinematic feast "like no other." I suppose Laughton and Anderson ham it up- but watching these two incredibly talented actors pull out all the stops- ham was never more delicious! They are unforgettable. Alan Badel is hard to take, but even he has his moments- as when he offers the thoroughly decadent Herod a chance for personal redemption, or when he reveals the identity of the disguised-in-a-crowd Salome as the "daughter of Herodias" but commends her misguided fears for her mother's safety. One reviewer calls this movie "over-costumed." I say "Hail Jean Louis!" The story of Salome was meant to flaunt gorgeous clothes and I have never seen such a display of eye-popping fabrics and colors- they alone make it worth watching. I treasure motion pictures as a haven from harsh reality- and this movie's "matchless beauty" more than fits the bill.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hayworth was made for color film! 4 Aug 2002
By Reginald D. Garrard - Published on
Religious epics from the 50's ran the gamut from well-made and reverential films like "The Robe" and Academy Award-winning champ "Ben-Hur" to the camp entertainment of "The Ten Commandments" to downright awful productions like "The Silver Chalice"(Jack Palance at his overacting best).
Well, "Salome" falls somewhere in the middle. It is both historically inaccurate and captivatingly seductive while attempting to be as pious as audiences of the decade demanded in their Bible-based dramas.
This Rita Hayworth vehicle does well as a showcase for the actress/dancer whose natural beauty was enhanced in glorious Technicolor. As the daughter of King Herod, Hayworth's Salome is a study in contrasts: one that is torn between her duty to the monarchy and to the romantic advances of Christian-convert Stewart Granger.
Charles Laughton is somewhat hammy as Herod, but all great actors have their occasional over-the-top roles. Dame Judith Anderson adds another evil matriarch to her long line of "bad girls" as Heroditus, wife of Herod and chief catalyst behind the beheading of John the Baptist (Alan Badel).
Hey, the flick ain't Shakespeare, but it does hold the interest especially Hayworth's "Dance of the Seven Veils".
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Rita Hayworth Shines In Legendary Bible Epic 15 July 2004
By Simon Davis - Published on
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"Salome", has really come in for it's fair share of criticism in the years since it's 1953 release. Criticised for it's blatant altering of the New Testament story that depicts the beheading of John the Baptist, it has been called everything from a campy mess to an insult to scholars of the Bible. However I always just appreciate the film for it's many outstanding qualities that well and truly earn it a place in my personal pantheon of great 1950's Biblical Epics. Lacking the wide scope of for example "The Ten Commandments", "Salome", takes a short incident in the Bible and turns it into a highly entertaining and at times tragic story. It certainly succeeded in provided an eye filling showcase for actress Rita Hayworth, only recently arrived back in Hollywood after an unsuccessful marriage to Prince Aly Khan. Despite the break from Hollywood she has never been more alive and sensual as in this role and her justly famous rendition of the notorious "Dance of the Seven Veils", is the dramatic and indeed sensual climax of the film. If for nothing else Rita Hayworth will always be imprinted in viewers minds as the Princess Salome seductively performing this dance before an obviously besotted King Herod just prior to John the Baptist's head being brought into the room on a platter.

We have all read about John the Baptist as children and how Princess Salome agreed to do the "Dance of the Seven Veils", in return for the Baptist's head. Hollywood being Hollywood, has altered the story and Salome is now not the total wanton of the Bible story but a basically decent girl surrounded by total corrupting influences. This artistic licence aside the story is an affectivly told one and includes some terrific actors having the time of their lives with their colourful characters. The story opens with young Princess Salome residing in the Rome of the Emperor Tiberius (Cedric Hardwicke). She has been sent there by her mother Queen Herodias (Judith Anderson), who is intent on keeping her away from the incestuous attention of her step father King Herod (Charles Laughton). Salome however runs foul of the Emperor when she falls in love with Marcellus a relative of the Emperor. Refusing to allow his family to marry "barbarians", Salome is sent back to her parents in Galilea. On the journey over she is placed in the care of Roman Commander Claudius (Stewart Granger), and the two begin a definite love /hate relationship. Upon arriving back in her homeland Salome discovers all is not well as her mother Queen Herodias, who is trapped in a loveless marriage with Herod, has consuming ambitions for the throne and rather disturbingly King Herod takes an unwelcome and decidely unheathy interest in his beautiful step daughter. The kingdom is rife with unrest and John the Baptist is constantly speaking out against the corruption and godlessness of the ruler and his court. When he speaks out at the Queen as an adulteress Salome goes to find out more about this outspoken preacher and discovers that Claudius who she now realises she loves, is actually one of his followers. Queen Herodias makes plans to have the baptist assassinated however it fails and Herod takes him into his custody to keep him out of the way. The people meanwhile begin to rise up in protest at John's imprisonment and Salome learns the true nature of her evil mother when she asks her to perform the Dance of the Seven Veils, before Herod in return for the Bapist's head. Dancing before the King is simply another word for prostitution and Salome decides to leave the Palace. A visit with Claudius to the imprisoned John makes her see the power of what he is preaching about the Lord's word and she decides to save him by appeasing her father in law and performing the dance. However Herodias has her way and John is beheaded much to Salome's horror who now sets out on her own life as a Christian with Claudius.
Glitzy hokum? Perhaps, but highly entertaining nevertheless. "Salome", was for a long time a project dear to the heart of Cecil B. DeMille who would have been in his element with such an exotic story. He envisioned using Rita Hayworth as the legendary Salome however it never came to be. It was finally up to Columbia chief Harry Cohn fifteeen years later to finally put this project into reality. No expenses was spared on talent both in front of and behind the camera and it shows in the final film. Luscious costumes designed by Jean Louis, breathtaking colour photography and the typical trademarks of 1950's Epics, lavish sets and intrigue are poured on thick in "Salome". Rita Hayworth despite not resembling a Princess native to the Holy Land does well in the role and in her famous dance shows off the skills that served her well as a dancer earlier in her career. Judith Anderson as the evil Queen steals every scene she is in in another classic nasty performance and Charles Laughton performs to his hammy best as the decadent King Herod. These two veteran performers by their colourful playing really bring "Salome", alive in their scenes. "Salome", benefits from some truly superb camerawork for both the palace scenes and also for the actual locations in the Holy Land which were used for the first time with this film. These locations give a rich and realistic look to many of the outdoor scenes in "Salome", recreating the times of the New Testament perfectly.
Being a huge fan of these lavish biblical epics produced in the 1950's I can still see the obvious holes in this film version of "Salome". Rather than seeing them as faults however one has to just take the film at face value, not take it too seriously and just enjoy it for the great production it is. It has romance, intrigue, gorgeous sets and costumes and enough action to satisfy most epic movie lovers. For a "refashioned", look at one of the Bible's more famous stories you are sure to love Columbia Studios lavish "Salome", starring the legendary Rita Hayworth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this classic. 18 April 2013
By nellwyn presley - Published on
Verified Purchase
these old christian classics will not be forgotten. i have seen these all again and really enjoyed them. they are not to be overlooked.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the Love of Rita! 13 Feb 2011
By eswan - Published on
I LOVE this movie for Rita! She's at her most gorgeous, a good actress and spectacular dancer. Her 'Dance of the 7 Veils' is fabulous!

I LOVE the Jean Louis costumes too, they are some of the most beautiful I've seen in movies! Wonderful sets, good character actors and well-edited too.

Rather preachy biblical story with a mad-eyed John the Baptist, but still manages to be wonderful entertainment.

* I purchased my VHS version here and it looks great. :-D Enjoy
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