Charlton Heston is Michelangelo, busy at work on the monumental sculptures he proposesfor the tomb of Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison). Julius has other ideas, however, and ordersMichelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which is the last thing the sculptor wantsto do. The film then follows his struggles with the monumental task, as well as the clash ofpersonalities.
There’s more than a whiff of Heston as Michelangelo as Moses, and Harrison as Julius as…Ramses, and the whole thing is operating at a rather portentous level (a tone set by lengthyprologue that gives us a guided tour of the artist’s major works). The film alternates betweeninterest and tedium, and does so for 138 minutes.
The sound is in both mono and stereo. The stereo mix is in 5.0, not the 2.0 listed on the case,but the difference isn’t very noticeable. The music has a decent surround feel to it, but couldcertainly be louder and more majestic, and the dialogue is sometimes a bit muzzy (about 40minutes in, there’s a rather disastrous case of studio echo). As for the rear speakers, they havelittle to do when no music is playing.
The grain is minimal, especially after the prologue, and the print is in very good shape.colours and contrasts are fine, and though there is a bit of flicker now and then, it too is quiteminor. A good-looking transfer, then, and the film is, after all, from 1965.
The teaser, the trailer, and some trailers for other related films. That’s it. The menu isbasic.
It’s big, it’s long, and it is sometimes compelling, but always full of itself. A mixed blessing,and hardly a masterpiece.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer and Teaser