Richard Burton played Marcellus Gallio, the Roman tribune whose job it was to crucify Jesus Christ. Victor Mature played Demetrius the Greek who gave Marcellus the robe of Jesus, the Robe which changed Marcellus’ life. I liked the fact that Marcellus wasn’t in this movie to be a hero. He did whatever he thought was right, whether he was acting as a Christian or as a Roman. Real heroes don’t try to be heroes. Like Marcellus, they just do what’s right.
Jean Simmons played Diana, the childhood friend of Marcellus. Her character was basically there for those who watch movies to enjoy a good love story. Diana could’ve been taken out, and it still would’ve been a good story simply because it wasn’t about her. It was about Jesus and the effect he had on Demetrius the slave and on Marcellus the tribune.
Michael Ansara played Judas. He had few lines, but noticeable sound effects. “My name is Judas.” (Lightning crash) It was great. I had to laugh out loud because in 1953, people probably jumped in their seat at the special effects and got chill bumps from the dramatic music. Mr. Ansara was in several Biblical movies. He was in Queen Esther in 1948, The Robe in 1953, The Ten Commandments in 1956, and The Greatest Story Ever Told in 1965.
A little known fact about Cameron Mitchell is found on IMDB.com . He was the voice of Jesus in The Robe. Like Ansara, Mitchell’s lines were few, but quite effective.
Another little known fact found on IMDB.com is that a ten-year-old boy named David was played by Harry Shearer, who has been seen on Saturday Night Live and heard on The Simpsons.
The Robe was a big movie on the big screen. It was the first movie to be released in CinemaScope. In the 1950s during the time people first wore special 3D glasses in theaters, The Robe was advertised as “the modern miracle you see without glasses!”