Religion: Scripture on Wide Screen

Hollywood's most valuable—but unpaid—writers are a group of Jews who turned in their stories a couple of thousand years or more ago. The Bible is a supercolossal treasury of story lines that is never likely to be equaled for surefire box office. "We always have westerns, musicals and Bible pictures," says Columbia Pictures Executive Producer Jerry Wald.

But there has never been such a run on flowing robes, phylacteries and false beards as there is in the studios just now. Prop men from Paramount are scouring Egypt for frogs to make a likely plague (Exodus 8:31, for non-biting insects to substitute for...

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