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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 »

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Writers:

(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
...
...
Walter Hampden ...
...
Mijamin
Alexander Scourby ...
...
David J. Stewart ...
Adam
Herbert Rudley ...
Linus
...
...
Ignatius
...
Aaron Ben Joseph
...
Helena as a Girl
Peter Reynolds ...
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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

The bald eagle is not native to Italy. 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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Paul Newman See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death in Hollywood (1990) 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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