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The Bible on the Big Screen: A Guide from Silent Films to Todays Movies Paperback – 1 Aug 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group (1 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801068045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801068041
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,257,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Hollywood has been producing biblical movies for over a century. Starting with mini-Passion stories from the 1890s, bestselling author J. Stephen Lang takes readers through blockbusters and busts, miniseries and Mel Gibson, covering film plots and characters based on the Bible. More than just a list, "The Bible on the Big Screen" gives movie buffs film credits, running times, and release dates and answers intriguing questions about motives for making the movies, critics' reactions, and much more. It also offers a comprehensive filmography with a chronological listing of all biblical movies ever made, and if they are available on video.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Though I didn't buy this on Amazon, I discovered (through the Delicious Library application) that no reviews had yet been posted. So, here's the first.
This book offers several things. Firstly, a list of Biblical movies from the first silent movies to the most recent big-screen adaptation (in this case, Catherine Hardwicke's _The Nativity Story_, from 2006). At the same time the author discusses the rise and fall of the Bible as a popular source for movie-makers, and how Biblical movies played their part in the rise of the movie industry. The author also attempts to examine the relationship between the popularity of Biblical movies and events in contemporary society, which is often enlightening.
Then, there're the movies themselves. The author outlines the plot of several in detail--including DeMille's The Ten Commandments, Gibson's The Passion of the Christ--but where he only mentions a film in passing he generally points out both its good and bad features, in terms of Biblical faithfulness, production values and so on. There's also useful reference to and quotations of the opinions of those involved in the production of many of the more successful movies, such as Cecil B. DeMille, Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Mel Gibson.
Finally, as for being (according to the blurb) "richly illustrated with film stills," this is a little (though admittedly only a little--"richly" is a politic word to use) misleading--in the 293 pages are found only 14 black-and-white stills (not including some passport-sized photos of pertinent individuals). However, I'd rather have more text and fewer pictures (the same way I feel about newspapers), so I wasn't disappointed. But don't buy this book for visual appeal.
On the whole, I find this book both enjoyable and informative.
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By websurfer on 13 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice overview of Biblical films.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Insightful and Infornative Guide to Biblical Films 13 Jan. 2009
By John Howard Reid - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in a delightfully breezy style that makes admirably light work at providing the interested reader with a great deal of information, this is a book I can thoroughly recommend from my twin viewpoints as both a well-known film critic (at least in England, France and Australia) and Bible scholar. True, the author does make some offhanded observations I don't agree with, although some are rather puzzling. For example, "evangelicals prefer the New International Version of the Bible." Not any of the many evangelicals I know. In fact, they are all dead against it. "The Greek word 'lestes' can mean a Zealot or revolutionary." No way! It means some-one who 'plunders' such as a robber or a brigand. "John's Gospel was written by John the Apostle 30 years after the Savior's death." Wrong on two counts. John's Gospel could not possibly have been written by John the Apostle, that is, John, the son of Zebedee. See my book Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder. But these are piffling issues. In this case, it's the movies themselves that count, and here the author's observations are always pertinent, insightful, informative and correct.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice 5 July 2014
By ray kroll - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
just as promised. Nice book
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