A Greek artisan is commissioned to cast the cup of Christ in silver and sculpt around its rim the faces of the disciples and Jesus himself. He travels to Jerusalem and eventually to Rome to... See full summary »
A Greek artisan is commissioned to cast the cup of Christ in silver and sculpt around its rim the faces of the disciples and Jesus himself. He travels to Jerusalem and eventually to Rome to complete the task. Meanwhile, a nefarious interloper is trying to convince the crowds that he is the new Messiah by using nothing more than cheap parlor tricks. Written by
When the film ran on television in 1966, Paul Newman took out ads in the Hollywood trade papers, calling it "the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s," apologizing for his performance, and asking people not to watch the film. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect, and many people tuned in to watch it on TV. Newman once screened the movie for friends at his home, giving them whistles, pots, and wooden spoons, and encouraging them to make noisy critiques of the film. See more »
(at around 1 min) Basil and Deborra enter the set from behind the cut, painted, and layered scenery, completely spoiling the intended trompe l'oeil effect of rooftop domes. See more »
[last lines, Peter is speaking about the Silver Chalice to Basil and Deborra, and he utters his lines in the tone of a heroic speech]
It will be restored, but for years and for hundreds of years, it will lie in darkness; where, I know not. When it is brought out into the light again there will be great cities, and mighty bridges and towers higher than the tower of Babel. It will be a world of evil and long bitter wars. In such a world as that the little cup will look very lonely. But it may be ...
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Having read all of the various reviewers'comments, I wonder at all the negative opinions : "The worst film ever made according to Paul Newman and many of his fans" - "a tax write -off along the lines of THE PRODUCERS "- "almost unintentionally bad like an Ed Wood feature". I think none of that is true. Surprisingly I find much of this movie highly entertaining. Paul Newman really need not be ashamed of his debut work - he certainly looks right as Basil and for the most part, he acts the part convincingly - he does especially well in his scenes with Pier Angeli- obviously MGM thought they had real chemistry because they were soon re-teamed in SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME. Jack Palance's over the top Simon the Magician is a great villain - you hate him but love his outlandish behavior that climaxes with his attempt to fly off a giant tower. Virginia Mayo in a badly written part wins your sympathy as the 'bad" girl/courtesan. The stylized sets are often criticized - but it is their very oddness that adds a special,dreamlike quality to many scenes. This was not a cost cutting measure by Warners, as some have suggested. In fact, this film was quite a moneymaker upon its initial release. Perhaps the most successful element of the entire project is Franz Waxman's beautiful, moving music score- one of the best of the period - it holds up to many listens. I think viewers today who see this in pan&scan format can not appreciate its beauty when seen in a theater in Cinemascope & Stereophonic Sound - I saw it on re-release in the 60s and it was impressive( available on a widescreen version great out of print laser disc and recently released on DVD ). Certainly not a great movie , it still has an entertainment value most reviewers are missing.
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