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...
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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
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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