Androcles and the Lion

1952

Adventure / Comedy

0
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 788

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 26, 2021 at 11:47 AM

Director

Cast

Gene Lockhart as Menagerie Keeper
Jean Simmons as Lavinia
Elsa Lanchester as Megaera
Dick Elliott as Ox Cart Driver
720p.WEB
901.76 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by duke1029 9 / 10

An Apochryphal Androcles?

In a lengthy letter to the editor in the October 1960 issue of "Films in Review," a very young Robert Osborne supplies some erudition on the casting of "Androcles and the Lion." According to the film historian, shooting began with Harpo Marx in the title role and continued under the direction of Chester Erskine for five weeks. Osborne states that the film's producer and Shaw impresario Gabriel Pascal thought him "the perfect Androcles," and maintains that the rushes were thought to be "brilliant." However, RKO studio boss Howard Hughes had recently seen Alan Young on a TV show, and impetuously insisted that the part be recast. That meant all the footage involving Harpo had to be reshot.

Unfortunately because of the delay two other principle cast members were lost to other commitments: Rex Harrison as Caeser and Dana Andrews as the Roman captain. Footage with them was scrapped and is presumed lost. They were replaced with Maurice Evans and Victor Mature. The two other stars, Robert Newton and Jean Simmons, making her American film debut, were able to stay.

Although IMDb trivia claims that Harpo was only considered for the role, Mr. Osborne's reputation, gravitas, and record of film scholarship gives this anecdote credibility. It certainly is typical of the idiosyncratic and fickle Hughes that he would have these kind of caprices. Just one year earlier after John Farrow had completed "His Kind of Woman," the unpredictable billionaire brought in Richard Fleischer to shoot some additional scenes. Incredibly Fleischer ended up reshooting virtually the entire film when Hughes suddenly decided he now wanted Raymond Burr as the villain and had a large expensive set built in the studio tank for a superfluous sight gag involving Vincent Price that lasted only a few seconds on screen.

Although it's unlikely that any of this footage will surface, if indeed it exists, but one can always hope.

P.S. Victor Mature had a refreshingly off-beat sense of humor, and unlike other egotistical stars of the period, never took himself too seriously. According to co-star Jim Backus, he and Mature decided to go to a local café for lunch rather than suffer through a meal at the RKO cafeteria. The waitress was surprised to see the two men in ancient Roman military uniforms and was shocked and amused to hear the actors ask for the usual "servicemen's discount."

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 4 / 10

Satire? Comedy? It's a riot either way!

Androcles is a devout Christian, all creatures are friends of the Earth. During an encounter with a lion, who is roaring in pain, he removes a huge thorn from the beasts' paw, thus creating a friend for life. A short time after the incident, Androcles and a number of other Christians are arrested and condemned to death in the arena. They are to die by fighting with gladiators or eaten alive by lions, is there any chance that Androcles and his companions can survive their fate?

During my viewing of this film I was eating some soup and bread, I literally nearly choked on the bread and expelled the soup via my nose! Such is the hammy comedy on offer here, Androcles And The Lion, adapted from a George Bernard Shaw play, is an enjoyable picture if one is prepared for just what a ham sandwich it is. The cast, featuring Victor Mature, Jean Simmons, Alan Young and Robert Newton, play it as cardboard cutouts {Simmons possibly the only one taking it serious}, with the technical aspects so bad I dare you not to laugh out loud as Young dances with a man in a Lion suit!!

Don't take it serious and you should be OK, and I'm certainly not annoyed that I sat thru it, but I would rather wrestle a Lion and two Tigers before I had to sit and watch it again! 4/10

Reviewed by telegonus 7 / 10

purr...

A famously bad movie of a minor Shaw play, Androcles and the Lion isn't bad so long as one doesn't approach it expecting a sparkling and witty adaptation along the lines of Major Barbara. To be fair to producer Garbriel Pascal, who loved Shaw's work dearly, and director Chester Erskine, an experienced theatre man, the play wasn't that good to start with. In trying to make their picture look like a spectacle, and casting hunky Victor Mature in a major role, Pascal and Erskine at least give the viewer something pleasing and familiar to look at. The presence of Jean Simmons doesn't hurt, either, though her padrone, studio chief Howard Hughes, was in the process of inadvertantly wrecking her American career with inferior movies.

In the roles as early Christians, Alan Young and Robert Newton make a terrific pair, and ought to have been co-starred again. Mr. Young's endearingly innocent, child-like and effeminate Androcles makes a fascinating contrast with Newton's bellowing, hyper-virile Ferrovius, and one wonders, if one adds to the mix the mere presence of Victor Mature, was going on subliminally in the minds of Pascal and Erskine when they cast this film. (Young fared far better with the animal kingdom some years later on television, as friend and companion of the irascible and unpredictable equine, Mr. Ed.)

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