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Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas


Introduction to "The Bible...in the beginning"

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Wolfram Hannemann Date: 11.04.2009
The movie "The Bible" was achieved over a period of five years, three of which were needed for pre-production. It was the brainchild of Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. He had the idea of making a movie covering the first 22 chapters of the book of books when doing some research while working on "Barabbas". And this should have been just the beginning. His plans were to produce more than just one film based on the Holy Bible. However, as often is the case with big announcements, "The Bible", as directed by John Huston, was the only one made.

After some difficulties in finding the perfect director for his epic production he came across John Huston who shared De Laurentiis‘ vision for the film. Christopher Fry as screenwriter, Mario Chiari as Art Director, Giuseppe Rotunno as Director of Photography and Maria De Matteis as Costume Designer completed Huston’s team. Last but not least Japanese composer Toshiro Mayuzumi was hired to replace Igor Stravinsky as composer for the film. A wise decision, as film music lovers will probably agree. His almost non-stop music score presented Toshiro Mayuzumi with an Academy Award nomination. The Oscar itself that year went to John Barry for his score for "Born Free".

By the way: did you know that "The Bible" was one of the first American mainstream releases to feature male and female nudity? Performed by 26 year old Michael Parks as Adam, and 19 year old Swedish beauty Ulla Bergryd as Eve in the Garden of Eden sequence. Which brings me to a really nice so-called „goof“ (meaning a dull error in the film) which was spotted by a filmfan while watching "The Bible". Here we go: „In the Garden of Eden sequence, Adam quite clearly sports a navel. Quite a neat trick for the very first man who wasn't born but was created“. Hopefully this unique observation will not spoil your film experience.
More in 70mm reading:

“Broadsword Calling Danny Boy” Widescreen Weekend Report 2009

WSW 2009 program

Widescreen Weekend Home

Mr. Derren Nesbitt ("Major von Hapen" in "Where Eagles Dare")

Lost Orphaned Films Abandoned in Basement

The History of 70mm Short Subjects

Ramon's WSW review
and Audience feedback

Images: Friday, Saturday
and Sunday

"Audience on Stage"
and Academy of the Wide Screen Weekend

Film Introductions:
"How the West Was Won"
"The King and I"
"This is New Zealand"
"West Side Story"

"Faubourg 36" 70mm in Paris

"This is New Zealand" 3-strip EXPO Film From New Zealand

The M.C.S.-70 Process

Internet link:
"The Bible" was the first motion picture shot in Dimension 150 (or just D-150), a filming process designed by Richard Vetter and Carl Williams. It uses 65mm cameras for shooting with specially made D-150 lenses covering fields of view at 50, 70, 120 and 150 degrees. The 150 degree lens was considered as the main photographic element leading to the system‘s somewhat misleading name. For D-150 movie theatres 70mm prints were made using a special printer lens which modified the geometry of the image on the print, making it more suitable for projecting onto a deeply curved screen. The print we are running today, by the way, was not modified geometrically. For perfect projection a so-called „Super Curvulon Lens“ lens was used keeping the picture in focus all over the screen. One of these „Super Curvulons“ will be used for our screening. Besides "The Bible" the only other feature film ever shot in D-150 was "Patton" in 1970.

When we screened the new print of "The Bible" as a world re-premiere back in October in Karlsruhe, it was obvious that it had been printed much too dark. This was very annoying especially in the Adam & Eve sequence where you could not hardly see anything. Some may have even thought that this was due to censorship – but it wasn’t. In addition the entire end credits were missing, concluding the movie just with music and blank film. Of course all of this was reported to the people in charge at Fox and Fotokem. And they listened very carefully. In the end some of the reels were re-done. So with a little bit of luck we will be going to see this improved print today.

Our sincere thanks goes to Schawn Belston for enabling this screening.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, enjoy "The Bible...in the beginning" in 70mm and 6-track DTS sound.
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Updated 07-01-23