Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



Yes, adding glorious Technicolor, breathtaking CinemaScope, and stereophonic sound makes for a more exciting movie, but this is really very little different from the original version 34 years before. There were more ships in the original sea battle, but they interacted better in this one. The chariot race in this one is a bit longer, but so is the whole movie, and not to its benefit. If anything, the horses were going faster in the old one. Charlton Heston is a bit better actor than Ramon Navarro, and Stephen Boyd is more believable than Francis X. Bushman, but that was how acting was done back then, and it’s all overplayed, by all four actors, by today’s standards. The new one has less stuff about Jesus, which is fine by me. Other than that, the story is pretty much unchanged, except that here Massala dies after the race, but not before telling Judah that his mother and sister are lepers, while in the original it appears that he survives, but loses everything because he bet too heavily. If I had to choose …? This one, no question, but that’s not to say the original isn’t almost as great …