HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Silver Chalice, The Meet The Man Who Excels
Year: 1954
Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Paul Newman, Virginia Mayo, Jack Palance, Pier Angeli, Walter Hampden, Joseph Wiseman, Alexander Scourby, Lorne Greene, David J. Stewart, Herbert Rudley, Jacques Aubuchon, E.G. Marshall, Michael Pate, Natalie Wood, Ian Wolfe, Albert Dekker
Genre: Drama, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Twenty years after the death of Christ, in the port of Antioch, young Basil was the son of poor parents and wished nothing more than to become a sculptor or silversmith, but then he was reluctantly given up by his father to become the adopted son of a local nobleman who was childless. He grew up in a rich household, but never forgot the slave girl, Helena (Natalie Wood), who was kind to him before she escaped, and when the nobleman died, the adult Basil (Paul Newman) was tricked out of his fortune and forced into slavery as an artist...

If there was one man who was less a fan of The Silver Chalice than almost anyone who saw it, then it was Paul Newman, who, legend had it, took out ads in the trade press apologising for his acting in what was his debut. A pretty auspicious debut on the face of it, starring in a lavishly-budgeted adpatation of Thomas B. Costain's bestselling historical novel, but what keeps those pages turning in a book can be deadly on the screen, as it was here. In these hands, with its deliberately stylised appearance and stagey dialogue, the material fell hopelessly flat and even came close to unintentionally funny.

I'm not sure what effect they were aiming for with those sets, but with their plain and unfussy look you can't help but see them and think "school play", and when the actors are pronouncing their portentous lines as if they were written by Christ himself, you wonder at the supposed levels of professionalism here: half the actors seem miscast, not simply Newman. When Natalie Wood appears for a couple of scenes in the first ten minutes with bright blonde hair, you know that something is up. And when she grows up to be vampish, alarmingly-eyebrowed Virginia Mayo... Actually, apart from those labouring under false beards, the most fitting performance is from Jack Palance.

Palance was no stranger to historical epics in 1954, Sign of the Pagan being his other big movie of the year where he played another villain in Attila the Hun, and here he steals the show with his Simon the Magician. Not, you ask, a celebrity conjuror as in Paul Daniels or David Copperfield? And the answer to that is, yes, as a matter of fact, almost exactly like a first century version of those fellows. The powers that be don't want this newfangled Christianity to gain any more popularity so to nip it in the bud they concentrate not on any of that being nice to each other business which they believe makes cowards of their warriors, but on the whole miracles thing.

So Simon is hired to portray a new Messiah with his magic winning over the crowd, as meanwhile the true Christians suffer and try to make sure that their religion carries on for posterity. This is where Basil enters the frame, as he is asked to create a silver chalice to house the holy grail, something he is happy to do, especially when he sees the light and becomes a convert. However, although all the Simon part of the plot is supposed to make you think that the heathens were suckers for falling for his tricks, what it actually makes you think is how Christ could have very easily been a conman as well by using the same techniques as Simon did - it looks incredibly simple to do if you have the talent for it. The magician is not so much punished for his hubris as made the fall guy (ahem) for believing his own publicity, thus freeing the proper Christians to dominate the world with their faith, but no thanks to dinosaurs like The Silver Chalice. Music by Franz Waxman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3037 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: