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The King of Kings (1927)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 1928 (Austria)
Jesus Christ faces religious and political oppression during his ministry and in the days before his death and resurrection.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dorothy Cumming ...
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James - Brother of John
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Matthew - the Publican
Sidney D'Albrook ...
Thomas, the Doubter
David Imboden ...
Andrew - a Fisherman
Charles Belcher ...
Clayton Packard ...
Robert Ellsworth ...
Charles Requa ...
John T. Prince ...
...
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Storyline

Mary Magdalene becomes angry when Judas, now a follower of Jesus, won't come to her feast. She goes to see Jesus and becomes repentant. From there the Bible story unfolds through the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Most reverent and strikingly beautiful panorama of the tragedy of all ages--the world's greatest screen epic. A production acclaimed by world-famed scholars, press and public in this country and abroad, as the most ambitious presentation of the final years of the life of Jesus ever pictured on the screen. An epochal motion picture that will live forever in the hearts of mankind. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1928 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Kralj kraljev  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(general release) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System) (1931 reissue)| | (RCA Photophone System)

Color:

| (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cecil B. DeMille intended that the role of the Jesus Christ go to J.B. Warner, a handsome and popular actor in westerns at the time. By the time production began, Warner had passed away of tuberculosis at age 29. Instead, H.B. Warner (Henry B. Warner) was cast as Jesus. Contrary to popular misconception, the two were not actually brothers. According to an in-depth article on J.B. Warner "Classic Images" by Grange B. McKinney, the two were not even related. J.B.'s real name was James B. Tobias, and he adopted the surname of Warner after H.B. Warner's family took him in and raised him. This familial error appears in several reference books. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene in Mary Magdalene's house, studio lights are reflected in a large hand-held mirror. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: This is a story of JESUS of NAZARETH...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the original premiere version, there is no 'THE END' title. The film fades to black after the final scene of Jesus looming over a modern city with the title 'LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS' superimposed. See more »

Connections

Featured in Jesus Christ, Movie Star (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Creative, Interesting, & Still Well Worth Seeing
6 January 2003 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This Cecil B. DeMille silent classic is still well worth seeing. It is creative and interesting, while remaining respectful to its subject, and thus it is among the best of the many movies made about Jesus. Unlike most directors (especially today), DeMille did not think that he was bigger than his subject, and thus he uses his skills to illustrate the well-known story and to make it memorable, rather than expending time and energy in trying to push some trivial perspective of his own. He makes it lavish when it should be lavish, and keeps it simple when it should be simple.

The opening scene, with Mary Magdalene and her admirers hearing bits of news regarding Jesus and Judas Iscariot, is a good introduction to the rest of the story, and also sets the tone for what follows. While it is a fictionalized scene not found in the Bible, it seems natural and works well. The rest of the movie likewise does not always follow the biblical narratives exactly, but the added material is always in keeping with the main themes. The cast is pretty good, although given the nature of the story, most of them have limited screen time. H.B. Warner looks just a little too old to be fully convincing as Jesus, but otherwise he is good enough in a difficult role. Probably the best performance is given by Joseph Schildkraut as Judas. He is quite believable, and is especially good in the Last Supper scene. His father Rudolph is also good in a smaller role as the high priest Caiaphas.

With the vast number of movies that are always being made about religious subjects, no doubt it will only be silent movie fans who will seek out this version of "The King of Kings", but that's unfortunate because it is nicely made and has many positives that make it worth seeing.


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