Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£4.60+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

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. The Ark is impressive and truly communicates the immense size of the thing, and one cannot but get a big kick out of seeing all the animals trot in two by two (including lions, tigers, polar bears, elephants, penguins, etc.). I also thought the Tower of Babel was presented in an impressive fashion, and the sight of Nimrod climbing to the top in order to shoot an arrow up into the heavens was a nice touch that more than earned God's anger and resulted in the dispersal of different languages among the people.
I have mixed feelings over the action surrounding Abraham. George C. Scott is one of the greatest actors to ever live, but I'm just not sure he was a good choice to play the Hebrew patriarch. Ava Gardner also did not thrill me with her performance as Sarah, who came off as a cold and rather unbecoming figure. Her first scene is apparently supposed to show the love she and Abraham share with one another, but the whole episode makes Sarah seem wanton and made me feel pretty darn icky long before it was over. Of course, Sarah's wish to have her servant Hagar bear Abraham the child she could not give him has always hurt my opinion of the couple, a feeling only exacerbated by Abraham's abandonment of Hagar and Ishmael after God delivers on His promise that the elderly, barren Sarah would bear a son to be named Isaac. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is of course interesting, and Huston certainly made the point about Sodom being a den of pure evil as the angels of the Lord enter to save Lot and his family (including his wife who would pay for disobeying God's order not to look back as the family is fleeing).
The film ends with Abraham's almost-sacrifice of his beloved son Isaac. Abraham totally wigs out a couple of times, especially as he and Isaac make their way through the ruins of Sodom, but the reaction is understandable. This was the hardest test God could have given to Abraham, and the man's faith cannot be questioned by God or man as the film's credits begin to roll.
This film really isn't that well-known these days, and I think it does have some weaknesses. Ironically, the humor that works its way into the story of Noah makes an otherwise long, dry film much more bearable, however. No other film I know of sets out to do what this film does, however, and that makes it more than worth one's time. I don't think it will necessarily help to convert unbelievers, but those of Christian or Jewish faith may well benefit from this recreation of the earliest stories recorded in the Bible and Torah.
0Comment| 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 26 March 2007
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.
0Comment| 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 October 2003
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
0Comment| 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 3 December 2006
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.
0Comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 December 2013
The picture and sound quality on "In the beginning" DVD is quite good. The sound is four channel. This film directed by John Huston traces the book of Genisis from the creation to Abraham offering Isaac on the alter of sacrifice. Remembering that it is a film and dramatised it isnt too bad although John Hustons portrayal of Noah though amusing does tend to present Noah as a bit of a bafoon which in my oppinion is bit of a down. The ark and animals entering the ark is quite clever considering when the film was made and without the technology available to todays film makers. This film is worth having if only for the excellent and moving portrayal of Abraham by George C Scott. All in all not a bad DVD
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 August 2015
This was a film I watched at the afternoon matinee (cinema) when I was very young at 11 years old so I bought it. It is quite long and drawn out at the beginning but as it moves along there is more action. The actors are able to stir your inner emotions without even speaking a word especially the scene after Cain murders his brother. There are a few humorous parts in it and some of the scenes are intensive. Very well made film and worth watching.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 November 2002
This film is entertaining on many levels, and if you appreciate good art direction, you will enjoy this film.
The cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno, and the classical score by Toshiro Mayuzumi are also superb.
Outstanding are the first 15 minutes, with director Huston narrating a mix of verses from Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 (KJV), and I have a special fondness for the sprawling "Tree of Knowledge", with its strange looking white leaves.
Other favourite sections:
The great Richard Harris, fabulous in a highly choreographed telling of the Cain and Abel story.
The animals going into Noah's Ark, with its wonderful music, is a delight for children of all ages.
The Tower of Babel, as an awesome ziggurat, with Stephen Boyd looking simply stunning in exotic makeup.
Peter O'Toole as the Angel, always a fascinating actor, and even in a small part, a scene stealer.
Yes, it is abysmally slow in parts, especially in the final Abraham section, which could have used some serious editing. A half an hour could have easily been cut from this portion, and also, this is where most of the stilted dialogue can be found...but nevertheless, even though it dwindles as the film progresses, this telling of the first 22 chapters of Genesis is one I've seen numerous times, and am sure to view again.
My tape is unfortunately, on the dark side, but still a visual treat at its best.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 February 2014
EXCELLENT! We have always like this old fashioned version of the Bible as the modern versions seem to have totally lost the plot as the modern non-believing producers try to water down the miraculous.
11 comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 August 2016
So good to see this timeless Epic again!! I've finally added to my Bible Films collection & its a worthy addition!! If you haven't seen this old masterpiece give it a viewing . It covers Genesis petty well & is useful when anyone wants to know about what * The Good Book * says about our beginnings...its not all about the Big Bang perspective you know! Try it & see an alternative explanation... I have two under 21's at home from University & they still have questions that Atheist philosophy just can't explain! Glad they're still open to the mystical mysteries of *The Book* being a possibility!!!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 June 2007
John Hustons direction of The Bible.... In The Beggining is a very good biblical epic movie that one can expect coming out of the 1960's the decade of epic.

Some truly stunning scenes one that sticks in mind is all the animals going in to the ark probabaly wouldnt see all them species in a movie like that.

Big Names in this film make it intresting such as Stephen Boyd and Peter O'Toole (lawrence of arabia) and George C.Scott (Patton.

The only thing in this movie is its either realy bright or realy dark in color which some times is a bit annoying and this transfer could realy do with a restoration tidy up on this dvd just one extra an original theratical trailer of the movie.

Movie 5/5 Picture Quality 3.5/5 sound 5/5
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse