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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 »



(novel), (written for the screen by)


Airs Sat. Nov. 05, 1:30 AM on TCM

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Hampden ...
David J. Stewart ...
Herbert Rudley ...
Aaron Ben Joseph
Helena as a Girl
Peter Reynolds ...


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


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


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basilus - Held von Rom  »

Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Paul Newman. 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 »


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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Paul Newman See more »


Referenced in James Dean (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Gloriously stupid
27 April 2006 | by (chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

The art direction is horrible. The sets are cheaply done. The cinematography could have been done by a three-year-old. And it has Lorne Greene. All of these are the earmarks of a horrible movie, and it is, in fact, horrible. Yet, frankly, there is something fun about all this. Newman's performance really isn't that bad -- at least give him points for effort -- and Virginia Mayo, probably one of the most underrated actresses of her generation, is miscast but not bad. Add this to Jack Palance's always-watchable scenery-chewing histrionics and you have a classically bad film. This could make a fortune on those midnight movie circuits; it deserves legendary bad film status. And, by the way, who ever told Thomas Costain he could write?

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