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The King of Kings
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The King of Kings (1927) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
1928 (Austria) See more »
Supreme in Theme! Gigantic in Execution! See more »
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
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  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

H.B. Warner ... Jesus - the Christ
Dorothy Cumming ... Mary - the Mother
Ernest Torrence ... Peter

Joseph Schildkraut ... Judas Iscariot
James Neill ... James - Brother of John

Joseph Striker ... John - the Beloved
Robert Edeson ... Matthew - the Publican
Sidney D'Albrook ... Thomas, the Doubter
David Imboden ... Andrew - a Fisherman
Charles Belcher ... Philip
Clayton Packard ... Bartholomew
Robert Ellsworth ... Simon - the Zealot
Charles Requa ... James the Lesser
John T. Prince ... Thaddeus

Jacqueline Logan ... Mary Magdalene

Rudolph Schildkraut ... Caiaphas - High Priest of Israel
Sam De Grasse ... Pharisee
Casson Ferguson ... Scribe
Victor Varconi ... Pontius Pilate - Governor of Judea
Majel Coleman ... Proculla - Wife of Pilate
Montagu Love ... Roman Centurion

William Boyd ... Simon Of Cyrene
Michael D. Moore ... Mark (as Micky Moore)
Theodore Kosloff ... Malchus - Captain of the High Priest's Guards

George Siegmann ... Barabbas

Julia Faye ... Martha
Josephine Norman ... Mary Of Bethany
Kenneth Thomson ... Lazarus
Alan Brooks ... Satan
Viola Louie ... Adulterous Woman
Muriel McCormac ... Blind Girl
Clarence Burton ... Dysmas - the Repentant Thief
Jim Mason ... Gestas - the Unrepentant Thief (as James Mason)

May Robson ... Mother of Gestas
Dot Farley ... Maidservant of Caiaphas
Hector V. Sarno ... Galilean Carpenter (as Hector Sarno)
Leon Holmes ... Imbecile Boy
Otto Lederer ... Eber - a Pharisee

Bryant Washburn ... Young Roman
Lionel Belmore ... Roman Noble
Monte Collins ... Rich Judeaean
Luca Flamma ... Gallant Of Galilee
Sôjin Kamiyama ... Prince Of Persia (as Sojin)
André Cheron ... Wealthy Merchant
Willy Castello ... Babylonian Noble
Noble Johnson ... Charioteer
Jim Farley ... Executioner
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Alexander ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Nona Arlynn ... Waif with Broken Doll (uncredited)
Jere Austin ... (uncredited)
Emily Barrye ... (uncredited)
Miriam Battista ... (uncredited)
Fred Becker ... (uncredited)
Joseph Belmont ... (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... (uncredited)
Elaine Bennett ... (uncredited)
Marjorie Bonner ... (uncredited)
Joe Bonomo ... (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... (uncredited)
Lucille Browne ... (uncredited)
William P. Burt ... (uncredited)
George Calliga ... (uncredited)
David Cavendish ... (uncredited)
Fred Cavens ... (uncredited)
Kathleen Chambers ... (uncredited)
Edythe Chapman ... (uncredited)
Colin Chase ... (uncredited)
Colbert Clark ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Charles Clary ... (uncredited)
Edna Mae Cooper ... (uncredited)
Josephine Crowell ... (uncredited)
Frances Dale ... (uncredited)
Milla Davenport ... (uncredited)
William De Boar ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Anna De Linsky ... (uncredited)
Victor De Linsky ... (uncredited)
Malcolm Denny ... (uncredited)
James Dime ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
David Dunbar ... (uncredited)
Lillian Elliott ... (uncredited)
Anielka Elter ... (uncredited)
Louise Emmons ... Crowd Member (uncredited)
Ray Erlenborn ... Boy (uncredited)
Jack Fife ... (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Redmond Finlay ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Evelyn Francisco ... (uncredited)
Margaret Francisco ... (uncredited)
Sidney Franklin ... (uncredited)
Dale Fuller ... (uncredited)
Curt Furburg ... (uncredited)
John George ... Onlooker (uncredited)
Natalie Golitzen ... (uncredited)
Inez Gomez ... (uncredited)
Edna Gordon ... (uncredited)
Julia Swayne Gordon ... (uncredited)
Winifred Greenwood ... (uncredited)
Bert Hadley ... (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... (uncredited)
Stanton Heck ... (uncredited)
Fred Huntley ... (uncredited)
Brandon Hurst ... (uncredited)

Rex Ingram ... (uncredited)
Eulalie Jensen ... (uncredited)
Cammilla Johnson ... Little Girl (uncredited)
Jane Keckley ... (uncredited)
Isabelle Keith ... (uncredited)
Nora Kildare ... (uncredited)
Lydia Knott ... (uncredited)
Alice Knowland ... (uncredited)
Otto Kottke ... (uncredited)
Edward Lackey ... (uncredited)
Celia Lapan ... (uncredited)
Tom London ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Theodore Lorch ... (uncredited)
Bertram Marburgh ... (uncredited)
James A. Marcus ... (uncredited)
George F. Marion ... (uncredited)
Robert McKee ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Lal Chand Mehra ... (uncredited)
Earl Metcalfe ... (uncredited)
Ruth Miller ... (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery ... Egyptian Cavalryman (uncredited)
Max Montor ... (uncredited)
Alla Moskova ... (uncredited)
Louis Natheaux ... (uncredited)
Billy Naylor ... Boy Watching Jesus Fix Doll (uncredited)
Richard Neill ... (uncredited)
Gertrude Norman ... (uncredited)
Peter Norris ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... (uncredited)
Robert Ober ... (uncredited)
Jack Padjan ... Captain of the Roman Guard (uncredited)
Alexander Palasthy ... (uncredited)
Patricia Palmer ... (uncredited)
Louis Payne ... (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... (uncredited)
Herbert Prior ... (uncredited)
Albert Prisco ... (uncredited)
Gertrude Quality ... (uncredited)
Ayn Rand ... (uncredited)
Sally Rand ... Mary Magdalene's Slave (uncredited)
Rae Randall ... (uncredited)
Hedwiga Reicher ... (uncredited)
Dick Richards ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Reeka Roberts ... (uncredited)
Warren Rogers ... (uncredited)
Ed Schaefer ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Peggy Schaffer ... (uncredited)
Evelyn Selbie ... (uncredited)
Charles Sellon ... (uncredited)
Semone Sergis ... (uncredited)
Tom Shirley ... (uncredited)
Walter Shumway ... (uncredited)
Bernard Siegel ... (uncredited)
Philip Sleeman ... (uncredited)
Robert St. Angelo ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ... (uncredited)
Carl Stockdale ... (uncredited)
William H. Strauss ... (uncredited)
Mark Strong ... (uncredited)
Josef Swickard ... (uncredited)
Ann Teeman ... (uncredited)
Barbara Tennant ... (uncredited)
Mabel Van Buren ... (uncredited)
Wilbert Wadleigh ... (uncredited)
Kit Wain ... (uncredited)
Fred Walker ... (uncredited)
Will Walling ... (uncredited)
Paul Weigel ... (uncredited)
Charles West ... (uncredited)
Stanhope Wheatcroft ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Cecil B. DeMille 
Writing credits
Jeanie Macpherson (story)

Produced by
Cecil B. DeMille .... producer
Original Music by
Hugo Riesenfeld (1928 sound version)
Cinematography by
J. Peverell Marley (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Anne Bauchens (uncredited)
Harold McLernon (uncredited)
Production Design by
Dan Sayre Groesback (uncredited)
Anton Grot (uncredited)
Julian Harrison (uncredited)
Edward C. Jewell (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Mitchell Leisen (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Ted Dickson (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Adrian (uncredited)
Earl Luick (uncredited)
Gwen Wakeling (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Festus Phillips .... makeup artist
Fred Carlton Ryle .... makeup artist (as Fred C. Ryle)
Monte Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roy Burns .... second assistant director (uncredited)
William J. Cowen .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Arthur Rosson .... second unit director (uncredited)
Frank Urson .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Julian Harrison .... assistant art director
Julian Harrison .... consulting artist
Edgar G. Ulmer .... assistant art director
Julian Harrison .... set designer (uncredited)
Harold Miles .... set designer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Howard A. Anderson .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jacob A. Badaracco .... camera operator
Fred Westerberg .... camera operator
W.M. Mortensen .... still photographer (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Adrian .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Music Department
Josiah Zuro .... general musical director
William Axt .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Henry Hadley .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Erno Rapee .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hugo Riesenfeld .... music compiler (uncredited)
Domenico Savino .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Reverend George Reid Andrews .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Bruce Barton .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Reverend William E. Barton .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Olga Celeste .... leopard trainer (uncredited)
Denison Clark .... script assistant (uncredited)
Clifford Howard .... script assistant (uncredited)
Jack Jungmeyer .... script assistant (uncredited)
James V. King .... title-card photographer: foreign languages (uncredited)
Daniel A. Lord .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Elizabeth McGaffey .... researcher (uncredited)
Norman Osunn .... technical engineer (uncredited)
Gladys Rosson .... typist (uncredited)
Paul Sprunck .... technical engineer (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:112 min (alternate version) | USA:155 min (premiere version)
Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Photophone System) (1931 reissue) | Silent | Silent (RCA Photophone System)

Did You Know?

The Temple of Jerusalem set was constructed on the Pathe (later, RKO) backlot in Culver City. It was redressed as the "Great Wall" set that the title character breaks through in King Kong (1933). It was later reused in David O. Selznick's The Garden of Allah (1936) and finally went out in a blaze of glory after it was redressed with Civil War era building fronts, burned and pulled down by a tractor to represent the burning of Atlanta munitions warehouses in Selznick's Gone with the Wind (1939).See more »
Anachronisms: When the blind girl gets pulled through the window, she is wearing modern underwear.See more »
Mary Magdalene:Harness my zebras - gift of the Nubian King! This Carpenter shall learn that he cannot hold a man from Mary Magdalene!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) (TV)See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Great, 14 March 2008
Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY

King of Kings, The (1927)

**** (out of 4)

It's interesting that Mel Gibson was originally going to show The Passion of the Christ without any subtitles because he felt the story spoke loudly enough and that audience members would know the story well enough so words weren't really needed. With The King of Kings being a silent film the silence really adds to the story but on the other hand, unlike Gibson it's very apparent that DeMille wasn't quite sure whether the audience would know the story good enough and that leads to the film's one weak spot. The film probably would have lost a good twenty-minutes if it weren't for all the intertitles, which become quite annoying because it's easy to read the lips of what the actors are saying. Even with that one flaw DeMille created one of the greatest tellings of the story of Jesus.

The first hour and half deals with Jesus (H.B. Warner) as he walks the Earth with his disciples where he cures the blind and helps the cripple to walk. The second hour then turns to the crucifixion and eventual resurrection and with each passing frame you can tell this is a film being made by someone very passionate about the subject matter. The great lengths DeMille went through to create this film have become somewhat legendary. The director would have ministers bless the film each day before filming and even made his actors sign papers swearing they wouldn't get into any trouble to where the audiences might not believe them in their part.

I find it quite odd to bash a religious film for not staying true to the source material because no movie ever has and I'm sure one never will. DeMille adds some interesting changes including having Mark be a young boy who is cured by Jesus but the most infamous change is the romance between Judas and Maria Magdalene. According to the liner notes, this so-called romance was a German legend but why DeMille decided to use it is anyone's guess. DeMille also said that the Jews were the most unfairly treated in the Bible and to avoid any anti-Semitic controversy, it's made quite clear that Rome was behind the deeds of that certain day.

As I said earlier, The King of Kings is epic in scale but DeMille thankfully never goes over the top and remembers that the story is the most important thing to make a movie work. Each and every frame is told in such loving care that it doesn't take any time for the film to transfer you back and make it seem as if you're actually there witnessing these events on your own. The lavished sets and thousands of extras also add a great deal of realism to the story and W.B. Warner, while a bit too old for the role, delivers a remarkable performance where he tells every feeling of Jesus with a simple look or body gesture.

The film is also quite moving especially the scenes with Jesus working with a group of sick people. DeMille usually slows the pace down so that we can see the love these sick people felt for Jesus and that clearly jumps right off the screen. DeMille also makes sure to show Jesus as a mythical character who can work wonders and most importantly, the film allows Jesus to be seen as someone who knows what love is and knows his mission in life.

When Jesus is working these wonders the director usually has a light shining on him, which would come off as camp but once again DeMille knew how far to push this and the effect works quite nicely. Another wonderful thing is that DeMille allows some humor to be thrown in with the off-screen violence. The best example of this is the guards getting ready to put the crown of thorns on Jesus but they keep hurting their hands trying to make it.

Another wonderful scene has a little girl asking Jesus to heal her doll, which has had a leg broken off.

Perhaps this was the showman side of DeMille coming into play but the director decided to film the resurrection with Technicolor. In the 1927 "Premier" version, Technicolor is also used at the very beginning of the film but soon fades to black and white when Jesus is introduced. The resurrection sequence with the use of color perfectly brings the detail of a life returning back to the Earth. It's rather hard to put it into words but when the B&W fades and the color comes shining through, with this little experiment DeMille is able to create some wonderful emotions and get his point across very quietly.

There have been dozens of religious movies since The King of Kings (including a remake) but I feel this one here is a film that would appeal to everyone no matter what their personal beliefs are. This is classic DeMille, which shows his talent at storytelling as well as his showmanship of delivering a spectacle like no other.

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