IGN.com reports that a “special edition” of The Robe (1953), one of the first Bible epics of the sound era and the first feature-length movie to be released in CinemaScope, is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on March 17, just a month or so before Easter. A number of bonus features will apparently be available on the Blu-Ray only, but one that will be included on both versions is an isolated music track devoted to Alfred Newman’s score, which I have owned on CD for years; the track ‘Farewell to Diana’ has been one of my favorite bits of movie music since I was a schoolboy. I haven’t actually watched the movie in years, but my recollection, based on the last time I saw it, is that it wasn’t as good as some of the epics that came out after it; the two male leads, Richard Burton and Victor Mature, were both deservedly nominated for Golden Turkey Awards many years later (not just for this film, but for their hamminess and woodenness, respectively, in general), and the action scenes felt a tad generic, like a pale imitation of, say, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). But who knows, a fresh viewing — especially in high-def — could change my mind.
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