Story of the Bible Movie: A Complete Guide

The Bible: In the Beginning or La Bibbia (The Bible) is a 1966 epic religious film produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by John Huston. Covering the first 22 chapters of Genesis, it features a stellar cast, including Huston, Michael Parks, Richard Harris, Franco Nero, and others. Premiered on September 28, 1966, in New York, the film received positive reviews and accolades, including the David di Donatello Awards for De Laurentiis and Huston. 


Toshiro Mayuzumi’s score earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. Originally planned as part of a series on the Old Testament, sequels were never made. If you wish to know more about the Story of the Bible movie, then you should go through this article in detail. 

Story of The Bible Movie

The film begins with the Creation, depicting God forming everything, including Adam and Eve, who are later banished from the Garden of Eden. The narrative unfolds with tragic events involving their descendants, Cain and Abel, followed by God’s displeasure, leading to a global flood. Noah, commanded by God, builds an Ark, and after the flood, a rainbow symbolizes God’s promise. The second part introduces Noah’s descendants, touches on the Tower of Babel, and transitions to the story of Abraham and Sarah. Hagar bears Ishmael, but God promises Isaac’s birth. Abraham and Lot part ways, and God intervenes in the fate of Sodom. Eventually, Sarah miraculously gives birth to Isaac, and God tests Abraham’s obedience by requesting Isaac’s sacrifice, intervening at the last moment.

About The Filming

The scenes in the Garden of Eden were filmed at a “small zoological garden” in Rome due to the demolition of the original location. Ulla Bergryd, who portrayed Eve, noted that “Paradise was, in fact, an old botanical garden on the outskirts of Rome.”


For Noah’s Ark, five reproductions were built, including the largest on the backlot of the De Laurentiis Film Center. The construction involved over 500 workers and cost over $1 million. Animals were sourced from a German zoo, and the entire Noah’s Ark segment had a budget exceeding $3 million. The opening Creation sequence was captured by photographer Ernst Haas.

Release Details

The premiere of “The Bible: In the Beginning…” took place at the Loew’s State Theatre in New York City on September 28, 1966. Following the premiere, Ava Gardner expressed, “It’s the only time in my life I enjoyed working—making that picture.”

How Was The Movie Received?

Many critics heaved praise on “The Bible: In the Beginning…” as a magnificent and powerful cinematic achievement, while others applauded its skilful and reverent portrayal of the world’s oldest story with awe-inspiring realism. However, other reviews were less favourable, citing issues such as a lack of connection in the Genesis stories and a cautious literary approach.


Despite mixed reviews, the film performed well at the box office, earning $15 million in rentals during its initial release in the United States and Canada, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 1966. In Italy, it ranked as the second most popular Italian production in 1966 and the 15th most popular film of all time, with over 11 million admissions. Fox records indicate the film fell slightly short of breaking even, making $25.3 million worldwide as of December 11, 1970, resulting in a $1.5 million loss.

Awards Bagged

Academy Award:

Best Original Score: Toshiro Mayuzumi (Nominated)

David di Donatello:

  • Best Producer: Dino De Laurentiis (Won)
  • Best Cinematography: Giuseppe Rotunno (Won)
  • Production Design: Mario Chiari (Won)
  • Best Foreign Director: John Huston (Won)

Golden Globe Awards:

Best Original Score – Motion Picture: Toshiro Mayuzumi (Nominated)

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures:

Top Ten Films of 1966 (Won)

Silver Ribbon Awards:

  • Best Cinematography, Color: Giuseppe Rotunno (Nominated)
  • Best Costume Design: Maria De Matteis (Nominated)
  • Best Producer: Dino De Laurentiis (Nominated)
  • Best Production Design: Mario Chiari (Won)

Final Words

“The Bible: In the Beginning…” is a cinematic portrayal of ancient tales from the Book of Genesis, directed by John Huston and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. Despite mixed reviews, the film impresses with magnificent visuals, blending realism and reverence. Criticized for pacing, it succeeded at the box office, ranking as the second highest-grossing film of 1966. Wins at the David di Donatello Awards underscore its impact, sparking discussions on its artistic and interpretative merits. Whether celebrated for its visual splendour or scrutinized for narrative choices, the film remains a captivating piece of cinematic exploration of religious tales.

Story of the Bible movie is a highly interesting one as it takes into account the age-old stories of the creation and the aftermath. Join us as we take a look at the film.

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