Watch Judith

  • NR
  • 1966
  • 1 hr 49 min
  • 5.6  (452)

Judith is a 1966 historical drama film starring the legendary actress Sophia Loren in the titular role, alongside Peter Finch and Jack Hawkins. The movie, directed by Daniel Mann, and produced by Anatole de Grunwald, is set in the seventh century AD, when the Roman Empire was on its last legs, and the Byzantine Empire was in its infancy.

The plot follows the story of Judith, a beautiful and cunning widow who seeks revenge against the rapacious conqueror Holofernes, an Assyrian general who had invaded her homeland, the city-state of Bethulia. Judith wants to avenge her people and halt the tyranny of the Assyrians, who have been relentlessly pillaging and massacring her countrymen.

To accomplish her mission, Judith uses her charms and intelligence to entice Holofernes, infiltrate his inner circle, and eventually gain his trust. Along the way, she must navigate a dangerous political landscape, confront treacherous rivals, and maintain her cover in the face of mounting suspicion and hostility from Holofernes' men.

As the relationship between Judith and Holofernes deepens, the bond between the two becomes progressively complex, involving elements of seduction, manipulation, and intrigue. The dynamic between the two characters fuels much of the story's tension and suspense, culminating in a dramatic confrontation that reveals the true nature of Judith's ultimate intentions.

Sophia Loren fully embodies the role of Judith, displaying an impressive range of emotions and personas throughout the film. Her performance is nuanced, captivating, and unforgettable, as she transitions effortlessly between vulnerable victim, ruthless avenger, and cunning strategist.

Peter Finch delivers a strong supporting performance as Holofernes, portraying the character as a complex and conflicted figure, torn between his loyalty to the Assyrian king and his growing affection for Judith. Finch brings depth and nuance to the role, conveying both the character's cruel and ruthless side, as well as his moments of compassion and vulnerability.

Jack Hawkins shines in his brief but essential role as the city's high priest, Ozias, and Michael Gwynn delivers an inspired performance as the city elder Achior, who plays a pivotal role in Judith's scheme.

The film's production values are impressive, with elaborate sets and costumes that transport the audience into the world of ancient Mesopotamia. The cinematography is excellent, with striking visuals and bold compositions that capture the film's epic scope and dramatic intensity.

The screenplay, written by John Michael Hayes, is based on the apocryphal Book of Judith, a biblical text that tells the story of a daring and resourceful woman who saves her people from bondage and enslavement. The film adapts this story with panache, infusing it with elements of romance, political intrigue, and action.

Overall, Judith is a powerful and engaging historical epic, bolstered by an outstanding cast, strong direction, and a compelling story that resonates with the timeless themes of courage, justice, and redemption. The film stands as a testament to Sophia Loren's formidable talent and enduring legacy as one of the greatest actresses of all time.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 49 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.6  (452)