With Salome Columbia’s Harry Cohn wanted to make a Biblical epic to rival such movies as Cecil B deMille’s Samson And Delilah: and director William Dieterle delivered the spectacular results, even if he does take something of a liberty with the original text!
Salome (Rita Hayworth) spends her childhood in Rome but is banished to Galilee by emperor Caesar Tiberius (Cedric Hardwicke) because she has unwisely fallen for his nephew. Governor Pontius Pilate (Basil Sydney) and his dashing aide Claudius (Stewart Granger) escort her back to her step-father, King Herod (Charles Laughton). Claudius, commander of the legions in Galilee, is a secret disciple of John the Baptist (Alan Badel).
Herod and his queen Herodias (Judith Anderson) fear John the Baptist, who is stirring up discontent with his preaching, and bring him to the palace to try and imprison him.
Claudius is now in love with Salome who, in turn has been moved by John, but he is unable to get Pilate to help the preacher. And Salome agrees to perform her Dance of the Seven Veils in public in exchange for the sparing of John the Baptist’s life…
USA / Columbia / 1953
Director: William Dieterle
Writer: Harry Kleiner, from his and Jesse Lasky Jr’s story
Cast: Rita Hayworth, Stewart Granger, Charles Laughton, Judith Anderson, Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Badel, Basil Sydney, Maurice Schwartz