The Silver Chalice (1954)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  20 December 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 968 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 15 critic

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)
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Airs Mon. Nov. 30, 5:30 PM on TCM

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Hampden ...
Alexander Scourby ...
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


I bid you seek the lost Silver Cup... for Sin is rising like the swollen rivers... 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?


Final film as director for Victor Saville. 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 »


Simon The Magician: A true miracle is nothing but a good trick.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Paul Newman See more »


Referenced in Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

A bizarre religious epic!

Based on a best-seller by Thomas B. Costain, and directed by Victor Saville, "The Silver Chalice" was one of the studio's early CinemaScope films, and was really a variation on Fox's "The Robe," the first CinemaScope movie that had been a huge success in 1953... The action follows a group of Christians who are dedicated to preserving Christ's Holy Cup twenty years after the Last Supper...

Since Newman had the lead as a young Greek silversmith, sold into slavery, then chosen by the Christians to design a chalice for the Cup, becomes involved in battles and orgies, and must decide between the pagan world represented by a courtesan (Virginia Mayo) and the Christian world represented by his young, innocent wife (Pier Angeli). There is also a mad pagan magician (Jack Palance), who wants to destroy the chalice and establish his own religion, replacing Christ's miracles with black magic...

Newman was ideally cast as a Greek, because of his classic features, but he makes his film debut at particularly unfortunate time... 1954 was the year of "The Wild One" and "On the Waterfront," and Brando was at the height of his popularity...

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