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The Bible... In The Beginning [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: George C. Scott, Peter O'Toole, Ava Gardner, Richard Harris, Ulla Bergryd
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: Dino de Laurentiis
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Feb. 2002
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWMO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,064 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

John Huston directed this epic treatment of the Old Testament, which depicts the first twenty-two chapters of Genesis, from the Creation to Abraham's sacrifice. The star-studded cast includes George C. Scott as Abraham, Ava Gardner as Sarah, and Peter O'Toole as the Angel of God, and covers such legendary events as the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Cain's slaying of Abel, and the building of Noah's Ark.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The Bible ... in the Beginning is a most interesting motion picture. Over the course of almost three hours, the people and events of the first twenty-two chapters of the Book of Genesis are brought to life by a star-studded cast of characters under the direction of John Huston (with Dino Delaurentiis as the producer). It is a strange film; at times it is very moving and communicative of the Biblical message, but at other times it becomes strangely surrealistic or downright comical. It is, with a few exceptions, a pretty faithful reenactment of the Biblical text, however, and that certainly does count for something. The film can basically be broken down into several sections: the Creation, original sin, and the first murder; Noah's flood; the tower of Babel; and the life of Abraham.
The creation of the world is given a slow and sonorous treatment that tends to drag just a little bit. Then we have the creation of Adam and Eve (although there's no mention of the whole rib business). I found it somewhat strange to see Eve drawn to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil almost immediately - the serpent's job was made quite easy, and I must say I rather liked the manner in which the serpent was represented here. The ejection of Adam and Eve from the Garden is pretty powerful stuff, as is the later murder of Abel by his jealous brother Cain (played by a young Richard Harris).
Then comes the story of Noah and the Great Flood, which has to be my favorite part of the movie. John Huston himself plays Noah, and it is a remarkable performance that oscillates between seriousness and downright goofiness.
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As the other reviewer intimates, this is a fairly low-key Bible-based drama - unlike say Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments". But this film is probably the best Bible-based film I've seen to date for keeping to the Bible narrative. Sure, at times some artistic license is used, but it's difficult to see on some occasions how else the events recorded in Genesis could have been portrayed on film!

After watching the movie, I was very much left with the impression that the prime motive in making this film was to portray as closely as possible the events from Creation to when Abram sacrifices Isaac to how they are recorded in the book of Genesis - rather than making a great movie epic; and in this regard the film does well. This does mean things can get a little erm, well a bit bland at times, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded with probably an accurate as possible record as a film-based narrative can be, of the events recorded in the first 22 chapters of Genesis!

Definitely one for the children to watch or for Sunday School use.
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By A Customer on 28 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD
Whether you believe in god or not, you can't help but agree that this film is by far the best religious film of all time. It starts from the very beginning of the world, the very first 7 days: The creation of light and dark, the sun, the stars, the earth, the sea, the flora, the fauna and eventually the creation of the first man(Adam). Then it goes on to the building of the arc by Noah(the virtuest of all from his time), the tower of Babel, and finally the life of Abraham in which the film seems to focus the most.
The naration is excellent, as is the picture. The story of course is based on the Bible itself and is trying to be as accurate as it can.....and it succeeds. The casting is also quite good. The acting is nothing special really, but one can guess that this is mainly because of the fact that there are not too many dialogs(in many parts of the film) as most events are being narrated. We only see real screenplay in the Noah and Abraham era. The only drawback of the film is that, as mentioned before, it focuses on Abraham....perhaps more than it should. I would rather if it just went on further than Abraham, but unfortunately that's where it stops. The story ends with the sacrifice of Isaac and you will find yourself wanting even more.
To sum up, whether you are devoted a christian, hindu, jewish, or even a muslim you will definately like the film. A film for all the family, and a "must have" for fans of this kind of films
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This is an immense production, as befits such a broad scope of story as the whole of Genesis. The stars come thick and fast as you expect from a 60's biblical epic - Richard Harris, John Huston (who filled in when Charlie Chaplin declined the part of Noah), Franco Nero, Ava Gardner, George C Scott, amongst others. However the film covers so much varying ground, from a very long opening sequence of the earth being made with dramatic Stravinsky like music playing over it, to the intimate story of Abram and his wife Sara longing for a child after the time has passed when she can bear, only to be asked to give Isaac up to God, that there is little emotional impact. It's the last story (Abraham) which plays best as a movie, with effective performances and genuine story arc. The rest feels shoehorned in, with a slot given to Noah, a very short slot with Stephen Boyd (from Ben-Hur) building the Tower of Babel, Cain and Abel - the Genesis highlights as it were.

As noble as it seems to make the movie of the Bible taking as few liberties as possible (though rest assured, liberties are taken), the fact is a movie has to have a narrative that involves the viewer on some basic level - and that is where this movie fails, or at least only intermittently succeeds.

It's a grand undertaking, worth watching as a curiosity, but too overblown and all-encompassing to be a classic.
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