Fox Archives: Biblical epic ‘The Robe’ (1953), ‘The First Picture on the New Miracle Curved Screen!’


“The Robe,” produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox Film, was released almost 65 years ago and is famous for being the very first film that was released in the widescreen format CinemaScope. A fun fact about the film: The famous French astronomer and inventor Professor Henri Chrétien’s original Hypergonar anamorphic lenses were used to shoot in the CinemaScope process. According to advertisements related to the film and the CinemaScope process, “The new anamorphic lens creates infinite depth and life-like reality to engulf you in the action on the screen.”

The picture was directed by Henry Koster with a screenplay adapted by Gina Kaus, Philip Dunne and Albert Maltz from the 1942 novel by Lloyd C. Douglas of the same name. The cinematography is by director of photography Leon Shamroy, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in the film. It stars a young Richard Burton (also nominated for an Oscar for his role in this film), Jean Simmons, Victor Mature and Michael Rennie. 

The Fox Archives is mandated to collect, catalog, preserve and make accessible the following assets of the 20th Century Fox studios: props, set decoration, photographs, art department and publicity materials from our film and television productions, and from the 20th Century Fox studio itself. We work primarily with internal Fox groups but also from time to time with outside organizations such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.