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Premium member Presentation Transcript The Robe: The Robe History and Context1942: 1942 WWII The term “United Nations” is officially used to describe the Allied pact Nazis decide on the “final solution” at a conference in Berlin June 4th-7th Battle of the Midway, major victory for Allies Battle of Stalingrad big defeat for the Axis powers New York Times launches its bestseller list Casablanca premiers and Mrs. Miniver wins best picture Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, and Duke Ellington top the charts Publisher’s Response To War: Publisher’s Response To WarThe Robe and WWII: The Robe and WWII The leaders of Germany and Rome have much in common in terms of quest for world domination. Douglas drums home how Rome will fall, perhaps suggesting that Germany isn’t far behind “…my son, Rome is doomed! I do not venture to predict when or how Nemesis will arrive—but it is on its way. The Roman Empire is too weak and wicked to survive!’” (20). Continued: Continued The harsh treatment of other peoples, especially those who are Jewish, as a shared aspect of the Nazi party and certain leaders of Rome “The study of relations between Judaism and early Christianity, perhaps more than any other area of modern scholarship, has felt the impact of World War II and its aftermath” (Gager). The Nazi sponsored propaganda against the Jews corresponds with the Roman’s stories of the Exodus These fictional accounts systematically took away the group’s citizenship in Rome and Europe. Escapist Fiction: Escapist Fiction Just as one can draw parallels with The Robe to Nazi Germany so can one just enjoy the completely different locations and cultures presented by Douglas Like Gone With the Wind did for the Depression so does he do for WWII weary people Is this a common theme? When the chips are down in real life, do we want to escape to fun and faraway places in the form of books? (Lord of the Rings etc)Historical Inaccuracies?: Historical Inaccuracies? The years the emperors ruled are fudged, as are the deaths of Gaius and Tiberius Marcellus inspirations or just coincidences… Douglas covers his bases by focusing on the personal over the factual Also, the Bible as the source for history is in itself problematic at best so within his framework Douglas remains rather accurate, since he intends to follow the teachings of the Gospels over historical perspectives Tiberius: Tiberius Not as bad as we like to make him out to be Great general Went into a Marlon Brando like isolation on an island when his son died Wife was interesting and witty though rather unfaithful Caligula: Caligula Most historians categorize him as crazy “Young Caligula is insane!’, muttered Marcellus” (46). Rumors fly about this man. He is said to have slept with his sisters and maybe even killed Tiberius Murdered by his own men Historical Fiction: Historical Fiction History is full of fiction and fiction can be full of history but many scholars of this genre would say that the best type is a good story/good history and the worst type is bad history/bad story (there are also bad story/good history, good story/bad history) Discussion Question: Discussion Question Is The Robe a prime example of good historical fiction or does it fail to measure up? 1953: 1953 The Year That Was… Korean Armistice signed First clear evidence that smoking is linked to lung cancer Watson and Crick and DNA Elvis records for the first time Stalin dies The Robe tops the lists (AGAIN) Cold War continues… Slide15: The Robe appears in film as first cinemascope feature Starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, and a hilarious Jay Robinson The Actual Robe: The Actual Robe The novel describes the robe as being brown with blood stains The movie’s robe is as red as this background Seemingly minor changes like this build upon one another, eventually greatly separating film from novel The Film: Hollywood was competing with television (“dueling of the screens”) and resorted to the time honored tradition of commodification in order to bring in larger audiences (and so began toy sales such as Roman swords much like light sabers that come out with Star Wars). The Robe’s use of cinemascope was another ploy to tell the audience how much better going to the movies was than staying home and not spending money The FilmThe Film: The Film The Robe was enormously popular despite some reviews that labeled Victor Mature as a mere hunk and Burton as a ham, not to mention a soundtrack that “rises to a crescendo loud enough to make moviegoers feel as though they were locked in a bell tower during the Angelus” Sequel is called Demetrius and the Gladiators Now is mostly considered a precursor to Ben Hur Film VS Book: Film VS Book Film cuts down the characters (Lucia is missed but probably would have been superfluous anyway) and dynamic characters such as Demetrius are trimmed down Film edges on campy and then plummets into it when Caligula (Robinson) enters a room Film preaches even more than book Michael Wood argues that despite how the Christians are portrayed as the good guys and the Romans as the bad guys, such Cold War films visually celebrate their Roman oppressors “The great scenes in these films, the reasons for our being in the cinema at all—the orgies, the triumphs, the gladiatorial games—all belong to the oppressors…” Are adaptations dangerous or useful for shelf life of books? Did anyone see Larry McMurtry’s speech at the Oscars? : Are adaptations dangerous or useful for shelf life of books? Did anyone see Larry McMurtry’s speech at the Oscars? Thank You: Thank You You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.