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Moses the Lawgiver

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moses the Lawgiver
Moses-the-lawgiver-the-complete-series.jpg
Directed byGianfranco De Bosio
Written by
Produced by
  • Bernard J. Kingham
  • Vincenzo Labella
Starring
CinematographyMarcello Gatti
Edited by
Music byEnnio Morricone
Production
company
Distributed byITC/RAI
Release date
  • 22 December 1974 (1974-12-22) (Italy)
Running time
Original: 360 min
Theatrical version: 141 min
CountryUnited Kingdom/Italy
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5 million[1]

Moses the Lawgiver is a 6-hour Italian/British television miniseries filmed in 1973/74 and starring Burt Lancaster as Moses. It was an ITC/RAI co-production filmed in Rome and on location in Israel and Morocco.

Many of the writers, cast and crew contributed to another ITC/RAI Biblical co-production, the ambitious miniseries Jesus of Nazareth, released in 1977.

Plot summary

The Story of the Exodus or freedom of Hebrews from Egypt is told in a perspective which highlights Moses' efforts to persuade first the stubborn Pharaoh Merneptah, who was his adopted cousin, to release his work force of slaves. Then, once free and in the wilderness en route to the Promised Land, Moses must prove to be a pious and patient leader or lawgiver to a people who still think they want more out of him or God. For 40 years, Moses (Burt Lancaster) must carry on this load and challenge for God and Israel.

With the help of his brother Aaron (Anthony Quayle), and Joshua (Aharon Ipale), the nation or people of Israel are officially born or created after centuries ago God promised and vowed Jacob/Israel that he would be the father of a mighty nation.

Cast

Production

As Charlton Heston's son Fraser acted out the infant Moses in the 1956 Hollywood production of The Ten Commandments, so Burt Lancaster's son Bill, credited as William Lancaster, acted out the role of Moses as a young man in Moses the Lawgiver.

The Italian government suggested to the series' producer, Lew Grade, that he should meet Pope Paul VI, and subsequently did so at his wife's insistence. Grade and his wife Kathie had a private audience with Paul who told them of his pleasure at the film and offered his endorsement to be used for publicity purposes. Paul suggested to Grade that his next film should be called 'In the footsteps of Jesus', the Pope's suggestion developed into the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth.[2]

Soundtrack

The "Moses Theme" was composed by Ennio Morricone; the original music was performed by Gianna Spagnulo and Coro e Orchestra dell'Unione Musicisti Romani.

Novelization

In 1975, a tie-in book, written by Australian author Thomas Keneally,[3] was published by Harper & Row.

Theatrical and DVD releases

The 360-minute-long mini-series was later edited into a 141-minute version for theatrical release under the title "Moses."[4] In 2004, this shortened version was released as a one-disc DVD. A 300-minute version (two-disc set) was released in 2012 for Latin America (but not dubbed into Spanish and compatible in both Regions 1 & 4); it was packaged (somewhat deceptively) as Moises y los 10 Mandamientos-Extended Version.

Contrary to the above-mentioned information, the 300-minute version may in fact be the complete version. This was aired as (6) one-hour episodes on television originally. Subtracting for commercials, the average running time for a 60-minute TV program in the mid 1970s was around 50 minutes; 25 minutes for a 30-minute program. This would make 300 minutes the proper uncut running time, since (6) 50-minute episodes equals 300 minutes. There is no source available claiming that the (6) hour-long TV episodes ran commercial-free, which would be the only way the total running time could be 360 minutes, as claimed in the first paragraph. In addition, Shout Factory TV has the 6 episodes available and they all run 50 minutes plus a few seconds each.

The miniseries was released on Region 1 DVD by S'More Entertainment in the US on May 14, 2019. It is 2-discs with a total running time of 300 minutes, which does seem to be the complete version.

References

  1. ^ Smith, Cecil (22 June 1975). "'MOSES THE LAWGIVER:' can Moses compete with guns and cops?". Los Angeles Times. p. 1.
  2. ^ Chester 2010, p. 186.
  3. ^ Moses the Lawgiver (1975), Harper & Row Publishers
  4. ^ "Screen: 'Moses' Opens: Burt Lancaster Stars in TV Series Revision". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2022.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 April 2022, at 19:11
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