IMDb > The Silver Chalice (1954)
The Silver Chalice
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The Silver Chalice (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Thomas B. Costain (novel)
Lesser Samuels (written for the screen by)
View company contact information for The Silver Chalice on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 December 1954 (USA) See more »
EVERY BREATHLESS MOMENT OF THOMAS B. COSTAIN'S BEST-SELLER! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win See more »
(12 articles)
Robert Wise Centenary: Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
 (From FilmExperience. 8 September 2014, 8:00 AM, PDT)

DVD Review: The Silver Chalice (1954)
 (From Cinelinx. 21 June 2013, 2:00 AM, PDT)

Burning Questions: Great Soundtracks, Lousy Movies
 (From FilmExperience. 9 May 2013, 11:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
underrated epic See more (49 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Virginia Mayo ... Helena

Pier Angeli ... Deborra

Jack Palance ... Simon The Magician

Paul Newman ... Basil

Walter Hampden ... Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph Wiseman ... Mijamin

Alexander Scourby ... Luke

Lorne Greene ... Peter
David J. Stewart ... Adam

Herbert Rudley ... Linus

Jacques Aubuchon ... Nero

E.G. Marshall ... Ignatius

Michael Pate ... Aaron Ben Joseph

Natalie Wood ... Helena as a Girl
Peter Raynolds ... Basil as a boy
Mort Marshall ... Benjie
Booth Colman ... Hiram
Terence de Marney ... Sosthene

Robert Middleton ... Idbash

Ian Wolfe ... Theron
Lawrence Dobkin ... Ephraim

Philip Tonge ... Ohad

Albert Dekker ... Kester
Beryl Machin ... Eulalia
Donald Randolph ... Selech
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abdullah Abbas ... Cameleer (uncredited)
Patrick Aherne ... Soldier in Chase (uncredited)
Fay Alexander ... Tumbler (uncredited)

Hy Anzell ... Workman in Joseph's Courtyard (uncredited)
Sammy Armaro ... Audience Member (uncredited)
David Armstrong ... Sicarii (uncredited)
Baynes Barron ... Pretorian Guard (uncredited)
George Baxter ... Master of Court Ceremonies (uncredited)

Mary Benoit ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Charles Bewley ... Roman Commander (uncredited)
Erik Blythe ... Roman Banquet Officer (uncredited)
David Bond ... Cameleer (uncredited)
Richard Boyer ... Rioter (uncredited)

Paul Brinegar ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Peter Brocco ... Stall Keeper (uncredited)
Brad Brown ... Senator (uncredited)
Fred Cantu ... Magician's Assistant (uncredited)
Dee Carroll ... Mother (uncredited)
Gordon B. Clarke ... Man at Palace Tower (uncredited)
Rus Conklin ... Rioter (uncredited)
Marian Couper ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Leo Curley ... Senator (uncredited)
Mark Dana ... Herald (uncredited)
Richard Deems ... Roman Banquet Officer (uncredited)
Ted DeWayne ... Tumbler (uncredited)
Stephen Downer ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Paul Dubov ... Jabez - Roman Magistrate (uncredited)

Anthony Eustrel ... Maximus, the Ship's Master (uncredited)
Gilbert Fallman ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Lyle Felice ... Roman Banquet Officer (uncredited)

Michael Fox ... Slave (uncredited)
Don Garrett ... Roman Banquet Officer (uncredited)
Linda Gay ... Little Cripple (uncredited)
Dick Geary ... Rioter (uncredited)

Anthony George ... Sicarii (uncredited)

John George ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Nina Gilbert ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Richard Gilden ... Sicarii (uncredited)

Frank Hagney ... Ruffian (uncredited)
Mark Hanna ... Cameleer (uncredited)

Al Hill ... Rioter (uncredited)
David Hoffman ... Spokesman (uncredited)
Paul Hoffman ... Rioter (uncredited)

Robert F. Hoy ... Rioter (uncredited)

William Hudson ... Soldierin Chase (uncredited)

Charles Anthony Hughes ... Servant (uncredited)
Donald Johnson ... Tumbler at Nero's Banquet (uncredited)

Fred Kelsey ... Silversmith (uncredited)
Walter Kingson ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)

Mitchell Kowall ... Rioter (uncredited)
Leo Kreingel ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Lee Krieger ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Jay Lawrence ... Bystander (uncredited)
George Leigh ... Ship's Master (uncredited)
Paul Marion ... Cameleer (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Victor Marlow ... Guard (uncredited)
John Marlowe ... Witness to Adoption (uncredited)

Saul Martell ... Worman in Joseph's Courtyard (uncredited)

Strother Martin ... Father (uncredited)
Keith McConnell ... Guard (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Allen Michaelson ... High Priest (uncredited)
John Mooney ... Roman Banquet Officer (uncredited)
Etta Rae Morgan ... Nubian Slave Girl (uncredited)
Clifford Mosley ... Tumbler at Nero's Banquet (uncredited)

Leonard Mudie ... Stall Keeper (uncredited)
Don Oreck ... Roman Banquet Official (uncredited)
Max Palmer ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Shirley Patterson ... Poppaea (uncredited)
Stephen Paylow ... Child (uncredited)
Ralph Peda ... Bystander (uncredited)

Leonard Penn ... Soldier in Banquet Hall (uncredited)
Billy Perna ... Boy (uncredited)
Laguna Festival of Art Players ... Tableau (uncredited)
Paul Power ... Witness to Adoption (uncredited)
Guy Prescott ... Soldier in Banquet Hall (uncredited)
William Pullen ... Roman Banquet Officer (uncredited)

Jack Raine ... Magistrate (uncredited)
Allen Ray ... Bystander (uncredited)
Richard Reeves ... Overseer (uncredited)
Lee Rhodes ... Rioter (uncredited)

Paul Richards ... Tigellinus (uncredited)
Thayer Roberts ... Civic Guard (uncredited)
Tony Rock ... Sicarii (uncredited)
Richard Rotkin ... Boy (uncredited)
Tony Russel ... Sicarii (uncredited)
Sam Scar ... Cameleer (uncredited)

George Selk ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Lester Sharpe ... Oasis Keeper (uncredited)
John Sheffield ... Witness to Adoption (uncredited)
Max Slaten ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Arthur Space ... Stall Keeper (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Woody Strode ... Moor (uncredited)
Carlo Tabarro ... Sicarii (uncredited)
John Tomecko ... Workman in Joseph's Courtyard (uncredited)
Louis Tomei ... Bystander (uncredited)
Sid Troy ... Rioter (uncredited)
Don Turner ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Norma Varden ... Roman Matron (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Bystander (uncredited)
Trevor Ward ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Joseph Waring ... Soldier in Banquet Hall (uncredited)
Robert Wegner ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mel Welles ... Marcos (uncredited)
Leola Wendorff ... Audience Member (uncredited)
Chris Whitney ... Magician's Assistant (uncredited)

Harry Wilson ... Ruffian (uncredited)
Bob Yerkes ... Tumbler (uncredited)
Dorothy Yerkes ... Tumbler at Nero's Banquet (uncredited)

Directed by
Victor Saville 
Writing credits
Thomas B. Costain (novel "The Silver Chalice")

Lesser Samuels (written for the screen by)

Produced by
Lesser Samuels .... associate producer
Victor Saville .... producer
Original Music by
Franz Waxman 
Cinematography by
William V. Skall (photographed by)
Film Editing by
George White 
Production Design by
Rolf Gerard 
Art Direction by
Boris Leven 
Set Decoration by
Howard Bristol 
Costume Design by
Marjorie Best 
Rolf Gerard 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Jean Burt Reilly .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mel Dellar .... assistant director (as Melvin Dellar)
Russell Llewellyn .... assistant director
Art Department
Herbert Plews .... property master
Paul Focan .... chalice embosser (uncredited)
Ruth Tidmarsh .... wax sculptor: chalice (uncredited)
Sound Department
Francis J. Scheid .... sound
Stanley Martin .... sound (uncredited)
Robert G. Wayne .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Hans F. Koenekamp .... special photographic effects (as H.F. Koenekamp)
Louis Lichtenfield .... special effects
Dick Geary .... stunts (uncredited)
Jean Heremans .... fencing master (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy .... stunts (uncredited)
Louis Tomei .... stunts (uncredited)
Don Turner .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Yerkes .... stunts (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Maurice Amsterdam .... musician
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator
Franz Waxman .... conductor
Victor Aller .... orchestra manager (uncredited)
Victor Arno .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Ingolf Dahl .... musician: harpsichord (uncredited)
Henry Hill .... musician: violin (uncredited)
David Klatzkin .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Lily Mahler .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Peter Mercurio .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz .... musician: celeste (uncredited)
Pinky Savitt .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Eudice Shapiro .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Other crew
John Calvert .... technical advisor
Stephen Papich .... choreographer
Meta Rebner .... script supervisor
Ben Tobert .... silversmith (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
142 min | West Germany:115 min (cut version)
Color (WarnerColor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) | Mono (RCA Sound System) (optical prints)
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-12 | Italy:T | Sweden:15 | UK:U (original rating) (cut) | USA:Approved (PCA #17085) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

When the film ran on television in 1966, Paul Newman took out ads in the Hollywood trade papers, calling it "the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s," apologizing for his performance, and asking people not to watch the film. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect, and many people tuned in to watch it on TV. Newman once screened the movie for friends at his home, giving them whistles, pots, and wooden spoons, and encouraging them to make noisy critiques of the film.See more »
Continuity: As Simon prepares himself to prove he can fly from the building, his arms are outreached out in some shots and down by his side in other shots.See more »
Simon The Magician:A true miracle is nothing but a good trick.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Death in Hollywood (1990) (V)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
42 out of 66 people found the following review useful.
underrated epic, 8 April 2006
Author: prjdean from United States

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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