AFTER SIX DAYS (1920)
aka La Sacra Bibbia
Directed by Pier Antonio Gariazzo and Armando Vey
Featuring Umberto Semprebene, Ada Marucelli, Bruto Castellani
What it is: Biblical epic
The story of the Bible is told from the creation of the world to the reign of Solomon.
Reportedly, this movie had a budget of around three million dollars, and the original print consisted of eleven reels. That version is lost. The version that is extant was a re-release made in 1929 which reduced the length to 62 minutes, destroyed some of the framing, and added ponderous and tiresome narration. This was distributed by the Weiss Brothers on a states rights basis. It rushes through most of the early stories (the creation of the world, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, etc.) and only slows down for the stories of Joseph, Moses and Solomon. Some of the spectacle is amazing; the scenes involving the Ark and the Tower of Babel are pretty impressive. The story (for this version of the movie) is less so, largely because the narration is so annoying; the original version certainly must have been much better. As is usual in epics of this sort, the miracles are the main fantastic content; there's even an early attempt at the parting of the Red Sea. In it's present state, the movie is more interesting to look at than to listen to, and the stories are better told in the Bible itself.