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He Who Must Die (1957)

Celui qui doit mourir (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 4 May 1957 (France)
Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Priest Fotis
...
Lukas
...
Agha
...
Patriarcheas (as Gert Froebe)
Teddy Bilis ...
Hadjinikolis
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Yannakos
Lucien Raimbourg ...
Kostandis
...
...
Panagiotaros
Pierre Vaneck ...
Manolios / Jesus Christ
Dimos Starenios ...
Ladas
...
...
...
Priest Grigoris
Anna Armaou
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Storyline

Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. The leading citizens of the town, under the auspices of the Patriarch, choose those that will play the parts in the Passion. A stuttering shepherd is chosen to play Jesus. The town butcher (who wanted to be Jesus) is chosen as Judas. The town prostitute is chosen as Mary Magdalene. The rest of the disciples are also chosen. As the movie unfolds, the Passion Play becomes a reality. A group of villagers, uprooted by the war and impoverished, arrive at the village led by their priest. The wealthier citizens of the town want nothing with these people and manipulate a massacre. In the context of the 1920's each of the characters plays out their biblical role in actuality. Written by Sarvananda Bluestone <sarv@mhv.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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An uncommon drama

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Drama

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

4 May 1957 (France)  »

Also Known As:

He Who Must Die  »

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2.35 : 1
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Referenced in O Dassin stin kriti (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

This film represents the quintessential metaphor for our spiritual unfolding in the modern world
14 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

In contemporary life, where the struggles of power vie for our souls, I am constantly reminded of the passion that this film embodies. 'He Who Must Die' has become the quintessential metaphor for our spiritual unfolding in the modern world. The final scenes epitomize the existential dilemma of our lives: the fight for freedom and authenticity that too often puts us at odds with the practical accommodations of our community and the laws enforced by our rulers. This battle on behalf of humanity often results in rout, and yet we fight on with a fulfilled heart, the love of our comrades in arms and a belief in justice in spite of defeat and death. Jules Dassin was blacklisted by Joe McCarthy because he was willing to stand for his values. This film is perhaps his greatest acknowledgment of this struggle. Nikos Kazanzakis himself, summed it up: 'I fear nothing. I hope for nothing. I am free!'

I loved this film and fervently believe it should be re-released.


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