|John Huston as Noah|
THE BIBLE : IN THE BEGINNING... (1966) Directed by John Huston. ***
This is, in many ways, a quite remarkable film to come out of Hollywood. Based on the first twenty-two chapters of Genesis the film does not shirk from its task, does not try to soften some of the more unpleasant aspects of the Old Testament or pander to general audience expectations - the dialogue is King James. We are dealing here with Judeo-Christian myth rather than historical fact and both script writer Christopher Fry and Huston understand that and make no excuses. The creation sequences are poetic (Atheists please note that this was never meant to be a science lesson when written) and while I, personally, found the Adam and Eve sequence a bit naff, the film really comes into its own with the Noah's Ark portion with Huston himself giving a winning performance as Noah and allowing himself as a director for the first and only time in the movie to inject a little sly humour (Kangaroos!). Performances are excellent..Richard Harris as Cain, Ava Gardner as Sarah, George C. Scott as Abraham, Stephen Boyd as Nimrod and Peter O'Toole as the three Angels. This may not be John Huston's finest hour but it remains an impressive film.