Joseph and His Brethren (1962)

DVD Release: August 16, 2005
Joseph and His Brethren (1962)


From the pages of the Old Testament comes the story of Joseph, beloved son of Jacob and steadfast servant of God. He is presented as the favored son of Jacob and Rachel, sold as a boy into slavery by his brothers, who were jealous of Joseph’s dreams and of his coat of many colors given him by Jacob. In Egypt, Joseph gained a position of authority in the household of his master, Potiphar, and was later imprisoned on the false accusations of Potiphar’s wife. He was released after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream of the lean and fat cows. Pharaoh renamed him Zaphnath-paaneah and took him into favor. Due to the obedience of Joseph to his God, Egypt is greatly blessed. Joseph’s recognition of his brothers in the famine years when he was governor over Egypt is a famous scene.

Dove Review

This film, well worth seeing, is an intriguing Italian-made film based on the Genesis biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. It combines biblical accuracy (with a few minor exceptions) with an historical setting. For example, the story concludes with Jacob coming to Egypt with his sons to see Joseph before he knows he is his son. In the biblical story, Joseph sends for Jacob to be brought to him and Jacob is told Joseph is yet alive. But this is a minor “artistic” change made for the screen. For the most part, it is a very accurate portrayal of what happened.

Geoffrey Horne is excellent as Joseph and captures both the idealistic young man and the experienced ruler in a superior performance. Also quite good is Finlay Currie as his father Jacob. The settings and story are nicely handled. The one drawback of the film is that it contains some violent moments, including a man being whipped, a man hit in the head with a stone, some blood when a lion attacks a young animal, and the animal being speared, as well as a few other scenes. Most of these are quick cutaway scenes but we are recommending this movie for ages twelve plus and not for the very young or faint of heart. On the other hand, most everyone twelve and over should enjoy this primarily accurate biblical story and its themes of great love, sacrifice, and a man who is exceptionally devoted to God. We are pleased to award this film our Dove “Faith-Friendly” Seal.

Content Description

Sex: Kissing; a man's wife tries to seduce a character but he refuses her advances.
Language: None
Violence: A lion attacks a young animal with some bloody results; a spear is thrown at animal and scene cuts away; a man is hit in the head with a stone; men fight over sheep; a skull is seen at a market; a man uses a knife to draw blood from a sick man to help him and some blood is seen on the man's arm; talk of a hanging; a couple of characters are flogged; an elephant is speared; a ruler slaps a man and there is some blood seen; brief scene of slaves being whipped; a flood gate is opened and corpses are later seen dead in water; stripes are seen on a man's back; a man is almost hanged on screen but it cuts away; a man's corpse is briefly seen after hanging; a group of men attack other people and a man is seen about to be speared; it is said women and children were murdered; a man cuts off a cooked animal's head in a brief scene.
Drugs: The drinking of wine and talk of wine.
Nudity: Cleavage; shirtless men.
Other: A man is betrayed by his brothers; men tell lies about what happened to their brother; a goddess is mentioned.


Company: VCI Entertainment
Writer: Oreste Biancoli - Italian version, Ennio De Concini - Italian version, Guy Elmes - English version. Guglielmo Santangelo - screenplay, Guglielmo Santangelo - story
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 98 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter