Review: Noah’s Ark (dir. John Irvin, 1999)

Just about every kind of disaster film has appeared on screens big and small in the past few years, so it was only a matter of time before some producer turned to the Bible for inspiration. The result is Noah’s Ark, a two-part mini-series produced by Robert Halmi Sr., the renowned showman who has made it his mission to bring literary classics such as Gulliver’s Travels, The Odyssey and Moby Dick to TV sets everywhere.

Floods, volcanoes, meteors, tornadoes, shipwrecks — Noah’s Ark has it all. The film also begins with a glaring anachronism. In Genesis, the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah are not destroyed until hundreds of years after Noah’s lifetime. But in Halmi’s version, scripted by Peter Barnes, Noah (Jon Voight) is a native Sodomite, albeit a righteous one, who flees the town shortly before its destruction; his best friend Lot (F. Murray Abraham) also escapes, even though he is decidedly not righteous.

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