A true "spectacular" in every sense of the word, NOAH'S ARK cost more than $1.5 million to produce and had several interesting sidelights about it. Based on a story by Darryl F. Zanuck, it's two films in one, as we see the story of the Hebrew Patriarch told side by side with modern times.
Note the credits list and you'll see that two cameramen were used. The reason for this is that Mohr knew that Grot's sets, when destroyed in the huge water sequence, would be dangerous to the extras. Grot refused to change his designs and Mohr quit. The result was that scenes were not faked and
several of the extras drowned! Costello developed pneumonia from having been in the water too long, O'Brien lost a couple of toenails, and Williams injured two ribs. There was no such person as a "stunt man" in those days and actors were expected to perform their own derring-do, no matter how
dangerous. The first 35 minutes of the film are totally silent (this was just shortly after Warner Brothers issued THE JAZZ SINGER) and the first voices we hear are those of Costello and O'Brien in a love scene. The story cuts back and forth from the familiar Biblical tale of Noah to shots of WW I
and a wreck of the Orient Express as it goes from Paris to Constantinople. All of the actors do double roles, as the picture intercuts modern and Biblical sequences, and it's sometimes confusing to watch both stories at the same time. But there is no question that director Curtiz has crafted a
movie one won't soon forget--especially when we know that many lives were lost making it. It's very violent, with murders, floods, and war. Not for the squeamish.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A true "spectacular" in every sense of the word, NOAH'S ARK cost more than $1.5 million to produce and had several interesting sidelights about it. Based on a story by Darryl F. Zanuck, it's two films in one, as we see the story of the Hebrew Patriarch tol… (more)