4.6/10
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49 user 14 critic

The Silver Chalice (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 20 December 1954 (USA)
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 »

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(novel), (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Helena
...
Deborra
...
...
...
...
Mijamin
...
...
David J. Stewart ...
Adam
...
Linus
...
...
Ignatius
...
Aaron Ben Joseph
...
Helena as a Girl
Peter Raynolds ...
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Storyline

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 Dan Weckerly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

EVERY BREATHLESS MOMENT OF THOMAS B. COSTAIN'S BEST-SELLER! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basilus - Held von Rom  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(magnetic prints)| (RCA Sound System) (optical prints)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Dean was offered the role of Basil, the sculptor, but he and his agent thought the script was poor. Paul Newman, who was a finalist for the role of Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) that eventually was played by Dean and made him a star, took the role, which Newman later regretted. While shooting "East of Eden," Dean went over to visit Newman on the set of this film, where he met the love of his short life, Pier Angeli, Newman's co-star. See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Saint Peter: [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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Crazy Credits

and introducing Paul Newman See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death in Hollywood (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Art deco sets...and young Paul Newman...
9 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is certainly an oddity but deserves some mention for the actors involved, and especially Jack Palance as "Simon the Magician".

I too remember watching this around Easter at around age 10, it could be an interesting film for children who don't understand the historical issues of Emperor Nero,the Romans and conflicts of Christianity etc.

As another reviewer mentioned, it is odd with unusual sets. Virginia Mayo, however, looks lovely as always, even with some over the top eyebrow makeup and gold eyeshadow.

Paul Newman is a slave who must craft a special chalice for Jesus. Mayo, as royalty attempts to rescue him from his chains. Simon the Magician entertains Caesar but loses his mind in the end, building a special tower and wings to prove to Caesar that he can fly. He is just as much a God as any other, he proclaims.

The film is theater and a bit campy as you get older but worth watching as a curiosity. 6/10


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