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STORY OF RUTH (1960) a religious film that really works!


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There are excellent movies about "religion" and STORY OF RUTH is one of them.

It stars Elana Eden as "Ruth".

Universal truths and experiences, good, evil, history, faith, and just about everything in the human experience is shown.

Production values are terrific, as well.

Best of all (IMHO) it's from a woman's perspective.

Enter this film, and you will enjoy it very much.

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I don't take this movie nearly as seriously as you do because I think it comes up against the usual problems in balancing "religiosity" and entertainment and leans decidedly toward the latter. But I love it as well. Viveca Lindfors gives my favorite performance as the Moabite priestess in charge of grooming young girls as potential sacrifices to Kamosh, a hilariously Jabba the Hutt-like deity. In one scene she berates metalworker Tom Tryon for the insufficiently grandiose crown he has fashioned for the young girl, shouting something on the order of "This is dross. It must be radiant!", like an upscale shopper taking the clerk down a peg just because she can. You're right that there's a woman's perspective, though the aforementioned priestess is also a good example of how misalliances with power can pit women against their own kind. I see it more as entertainment than you apparently do, but I also would encourage people to watch.

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I like it as entertainment because this sort of story is DARNED HARD to make correctly.

It's also TRUE! As true as the "book of Ruth" in the Bible is.

VERY hard to show some of the insane corners of religion, any religion, without making a mockery out of all religions. Great details on some of the "issues" in Judaism later in the story too.

This film gives us all perspectives----people that love idols, and people that hate idols.

People can change and grow---we watch it happening.

Any way you look at it, this is DRAMA - with a heart and conscience.

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12 hours ago, DougieB said:

I don't take this movie nearly as seriously as you do because I think it comes up against the usual problems in balancing "religiosity" and entertainment and leans decidedly toward the latter. But I love it as well. Viveca Lindfors gives my favorite performance as the Moabite priestess in charge of grooming young girls as potential sacrifices to Kamosh, a hilariously Jabba the Hutt-like deity. In one scene she berates metalworker Tom Tryon for the insufficiently grandiose crown he has fashioned for the young girl, shouting something on the order of "This is dross. It must be radiant!", like an upscale shopper taking the clerk down a peg just because she can. You're right that there's a woman's perspective, though the aforementioned priestess is also a good example of how misalliances with power can pit women against their own kind. I see it more as entertainment than you apparently do, but I also would encourage people to watch.

It's nice and all--50's epics seemed to have a pre-occupation with reminding audiences how much better their religion was than "bad" religions (qv. "Greatest Story Ever Told"'s constant harping on how Christianity disliked ancient Hebrew sacrifices), but almost nothing that happens in the movie is actually FROM the Book of Ruth.

In the text, a Moabite woman marries a Hebrew man, converts, and chooses to remain with the family after his death, and her loyalty inspires Boaz to remarry her...Umm, that's IT.  It's okay for emphasizing the "Only good people convert" message of the OT--and the only reason we hear it is because they turn out to be David's grandparents--but cinematically, there's nothing to work with.  Not even a decent place to put in the obligatory pagan temple dancer in the bikini.

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  • 6 months later...

I love that movie! I have it in my collection. That being said, when it comes to religious movies (by that I mean Judeo-Christian movies), nothing surpasses "Ben-Hur" (1959) in my humble opinion. I also put "Quo Vadis" (1951) very high in my pantheon of religious movies. "The Robe" is also very good, but let us not forget "The Ten Commandments" (1956). One I particularly like also is "Becket" (1964, with Richard Berton and Peter O' Toole) telling the story of the relationship between Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, and King Henry II of England. 

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