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Bible Background Is Box Office


Biblical subjects for films have always appealed strongly to Hollywood producers, and continue to be box office winners.

Cecil B. DeMille spent

a lot and made a lot out of iiis epics such as ?King of Kings' and 'Ten Commandments.' More re ;ently 'Samson and De iiiah' and 'David and Bathsheba' have kept the flag flying. Now Darryl F. Zanuck has just finished spending Urn. dollars on 'The Robe' in Cinemascope (3D). Plans for 'The Robe' began in 1942, when 20th Century-Fox spent 100,000 dollars for the rights of Lloyd C. Douglas's book, which tells of the con version of a Roman soldier through the robe taken from Christ on His way to the Cross. After much research 'over period costumes and sets, Richard Burton ('My Cousin Rachel') and Jean Simmons were chosen for the two star roles in the cast of 51 main parts. Immediately 'The Robe' was finished, Mr. Zanuck started on a sequel, 'The Gladiators,' using the same sets and with Victor Mature in the lead. It will cost 3m. dollars. 'Salome,' the latest £lm. worth of film with a Biblical background, is described in London as ''an unforgettable slab of bad taste, bad acting and boredom.' It has Rita Hayworth performing the Dance of the Seven Veils, with Stewart Granger, Charles Laughton, Basil Sydney and Alan Badel (an Old Vic actor making his Hollywood debut), also in the cast. A A A Adelaide Theatre Group's presentation of 'Cross Pur pose' at Stow Hall from Wednesday till Saturday will be Miss Patsy Flannagan's first essay at production. It is by the French existential ist, Albert Camus, and is an example of post-war French tragedy. In the strong cast are Gordon McDougall, who played the King in 'Ham-

et.' Lois Ramsay, following jp her dramatic success in ?Bernarda Alba,' Yvonne Seaslip, Margaret Ward and Francis Flannagan. Interest in drama is re sulting in increased stage ac tivity in schools. The Ade laide Boys' High School rheatre Guild of about 100 members is presenting a sequence from 'Hamlet,' giving the complete story, scenes from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' and a farce in the Great Hall at the school next Friday. Two members of the staff, assisted by Roy Leaney, are in charge of the production, and cos tumes from Colin Ballan tyne's 'Hamlet,' with the historic sword, are beinsr used. Keith Michell, one of the leading players in the Stratford Company due next month, had his first part at Adelaide High. Rehearsals are in full swing for the University Drama Festival, which Ade laide will open with 'Tha Cenci' at the Tivoli on Au gust 17. ^ A A Coloratura soprano Erna Sack will give the first of her three recitals in the Theatre Royal tonight. The other concerts will be held on Wed nesday and next Saturday The Folies Bergere season, opening at the Royal on Au gust 18, is limited to two weeks and five days. The Stratford Company follows with 'Othello' on September ± A A London's open-air Shakes Peare theatre in Regent'* Park has been forced to close six weeks earlier than usual because of bad weather Au diences had not been big f,!l0Vghut0 ?over expenses while the rain persisted. The final play was 'Love's La bors Lost.' ^ A A John Gielgud will celebrate his Knighthood by acting in London in the autumn in a modern play without a wie.

iiuib or iiounces ior the nrst time for 15 years. Before that he will take Shaicespeare to Bulawayo for the Rhodes Centenary celebrations in a new theatre, and may join Anthony Quayle and his Stratford Company following their Australian tour In a short Broadway visit. The Hollywood film, 'Julius Cae sar' with Gielgud as Cassius, had its world premiere in Sydney. A A A Irving Berlin's musical comedy, 'Call Me Madam,' with Ethel Merman and Donald O'Connor, has tcorcd such a success at {.lie Regent that it has been transferred to the Rex for a week.