Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
The Story of Ruth (1960) from 20th Century Fox
Not Rated. Drama, Romance, Faith, Epic
Pain on entering the world, anguish on leaving it. But the interval between is worth it all.
(My thoughts here might be a little spoilerish, if you’ve not seen the film or aren’t otherwise familiar with biblical Ruth and Boaz’s story.)
The stuff that old epics are made of, CinemaScope with ever-so-dramatic acting and scoring to match. I’ll admit that something about the delivery of Elana Eden’s lines as Ruth irritated me in some scenes, but it wasn’t a big deal.
This rendering turned out to be a little more clever than I was expecting, with racism, believable tension, and some well thought-out, thought-provoking points. I like that Ruth’s husband Mahlon has something to him, including wits–that he isn’t just a throwaway character on the way to Boaz. And Boaz himself isn’t a perfect or angelic lover boy who’ll demonstratively fall into sappy insta-love on the spot, but he’s a pretty strict adherent to religious law with his own prejudice and bitterness to deal with.
(Though, in the end, I wished he could have been a little more perfect after all, a little stronger, as the way his kinsman show him up during a time of judgment doesn’t leave me 100% convinced that Boaz will always have the back of a former priestess from Moab, or that Ruth shouldn’t require a little more of an explanation from him after that episode.)
And how fun to see the Reverend Mother from The Sound of Music playing Naomi, Cousin Cody from The Waltons playing the mysterious man at the well (Jehoam?), and even Beaver Cleaver’s childhood crush Donna playing Ruth as a little girl.
Plus, my favorite part, despite Boaz’s not coming out of it with flying colors: the judgment scene. Whoo, get ’em, Naomi and Ruth!
Okay, so I’m admittedly forgiving the trailer’s handling of the idolatry theme, here.