Saturday, March 29, 2014

Moses (1975)

     Moses (1975) [D: Gianfranco de Bosio. Burt Lancaster, Anthony Quayle, Ingrid Thulin et al.] A spaghetti Bible epic, and not very well made. Lousy visual continuity, and nothing remotely resembling a coherent script. Anthony Burgess is credited with writing the script, but so are de Bosie (the director) and Vittorio Bonicelli, whoever he is. A mess. There are glimpses of the human story within the Moses story (and there are plenty of hints of that in Exodus, I think), but there’s no coherent vision. De Bosio obviously thought he could do a better job than Burgess. He was wrong.
     There are five or six sequences worth a look, about the Pharaoh on the one hand (he’s a complex character), and about Moses relationship to his god on the other (a prickly one). Both characters are (intermittently) presented as beset by doubts and wearied by the burdens of leadership. Both feel the conflict between their public roles and their private lives. From what I know of Burgess’s writing, I’m sure these are the remnants of his script.
     The movie holds some interest to any student of Bible-based movies, but I don’t recommend it to anybody who wants to understand the power of the epic recounted on Exodus, an epic that gains mythic power precisely because we can see in it the human struggle for freedom, from oppressive tyranny, from oppressive human law, and from oppressive superstition. Still less do I recommend it to a believer who wants to see a plausible interpretation of the Bible story. The script doctors for one reason or another did not take Exodus on its own terms.  Bomb
   Update: I discovered that this movie was edited down from a 6-hour TV series, so no wonder it\s a disjointed mess. But that information doesn't explain for the bad writing.

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