Waxman, Franz (1906–67)
Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)
One of The Robe’s greatest admirers was composer Franz Waxman (1906–67), who re-worked some of its thematic material in a sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators. This movie includes a flashback to the crucifixion scene in The Robe accompanied by dramatic vocalization, even though Waxman newly composed the music. Another important scene that includes dramatic vocalization occurs in the Temple of Isis. Exotic and seductive, the music also suggests the otherworldly aspects of the pagan goddess.
(Nauman 2009, 246)
The story picks up at the point where The Robe ends, following the martyrdom of Diana and Marcellus. Christ’s robe is conveyed to Peter for safe-keeping, but the emperor Caligula wants it back to benefit from its powers. Marcellus&rsquos former slave Demetrius seeks to prevent this, and catches the eye of Messalina, wife to Caligula’s uncle Claudius. Messalina tempts Demetrius, he winds up fighting in the arena, and wavers in his faith.
Many other films use wordless vocalization in their opening credits to foreshadow the “surprise” yet to come. See The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Ox-Bow Incident (1942), The Robe (1953), The Abyss (1989), Mars Attacks! (1996), and Twister (1996).
|The Temple of Isis|
|Flashback to Galgotha|