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January 2005, Week 3


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Gary Harmon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 20 Jan 2005 00:33:35 EST
text/plain (67 lines)
For the person asking about books relating to Biblical Epics:    

Bibical epics are part of the larger subject of epic films, so do add to your 
Baird Searles' Epic!: History on the Big Screen (1990), Abrams.   Some good
insights in a large book heavy with film photographs, 239 pp.    Not a book
aimed at scholars... but part of the film epic publication record.

Also, see John Cary's Spectacular: The Story of Epic Films. London, Castle, 

And of course a good Biblical Epics bibliography will likely include books 
about Cecil B. DeMille.
Such as:   The Films of Cecil B. DeMille, by Gene Ringgold and DeWitt Bodeen. 
  New York,
Citadel, 1969.   Or DeMille's autobiography, The Autobiography of Cecil B. 
edited by Donal Hayne, Prentice-Hall, 1959.

Or for that matter, books about Charlton Heston, who was in two great epics 
and had one
book written about him called Charleton Heston: The Epic Presence, London: 
Books, 1977.   He certainly was in a few of the great Biblical Epics.    Or 
try, In the
Arena: An Autobiography, by Heston, 1995.... or his The Actor's Life: 
Journals 1956-1976,
edited by Hollis Alpert, 1976 (E. P. Dutton of NY).    

Of course, other directors and actors are as useful, though these surely are 
ones.   But Heston may have made a good bit of a career out of just Ben Hur 
The Ten Commandments, two landmarks in the Biblical Epic phenomenon.    See 
chapter on these films in Charlton Heston's Hollywood:   50 Years in American 
by Charleton Heston and Jean-Pierre Isbouts (G T Publishing, 1998--NY).    

There's a slender book called Movie Christs, with short chapters on the many 
faces of
Christ, presented in unsuspected and places and guises.   Some of the films 
referenced are epics,
of course.    Seems like it was published in the early 1990s.    

A few Biblical Epics are discussed wisely in Past Imperfect: History 
According to
the Movies, edited by Mark C. Carnes.

None of these are definitive works on Epics or Biblical Epics, and they all 
vary in
the measure of scholarly attention to interpretation, but they are all part 
of the epic
bibliographical ongoing effort to deal with this genre.   

Of course, I assume you are also consulting the several histories of film, 
such as David
A. Cook's classic A History of Narrative Film.   You'll find references to 
and Delilah and Ben-Hur, among others therein.   

Gary Harmon

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