Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Cecil B. DeMille's Sign of the Cross is on DVD at last. Unfortunately you can only purchase it as part of the above boxed set, but Netflix has each disc individually. Now you can freeze frame those wonderful pre-code shots of Empress Claudette Colbert's bosoms in a milk bath. Ah, technology. Charles Laughton plays Charles Laughton playing Nero, and the Christian corpses pile up quickly. Gloriously made, and fantastically trashy. Love it. Brings to mind old H.L. Mencken, who said somewhere that Christians were not persecuted in ancient Rome for their beliefs, but rather because they were a public nuisance.
I've enjoyed other Peter Weir films, but found Gallipoli curiously unmoving despite its anti-war theme. Curious to note that Mel Gibson once was a young and attractive and charismatic performer. Now Mel mumbles into his beard in his own dour cathedral, flagellating himself. Watch Picnic at Hanging Rock, or even Witness again instead.