In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all ... See full summary »
Loose biography of actor Lon Chaney. Growing up with deaf parents, he learns what it is like to be different. As an actor, he puts that knowledge (together with lots of make-up and talent) ... See full summary »
The story of the life of Jesus Christ from his birth in Bethlehem to his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. Filmed on a relatively grand scale, the film includes all of the major events referred to in the New Testament; his baptism by John the Baptist; the miracles - cripples walking, blind men seeing; the fishes and the loaves; and so on. The film actually begins with the Roman invasion by Pompey in 65 B.C., the appointment of King Herod the Great by the Romans and finally the crowning of Herod Antipas after he murders his father. The revolt led by Barrabas is also included and John the Baptist's beheading as Salome's price for dancing for Herod. Written by
Hurd Hatfield was only cast as Pontius Pilate after a number of British heavyweights had passed on the part. See more »
When Mary Magdelene is speaking with the Virgin Mary at the doorway, she changes position every time the camera angle changes. Every time the camera is at Magdelene's back looking into the house, she is leaning against the door frame but every time the camera is in the house facing Magdelene, she is suddenly standing straight. See more »
[during the Last Supper, Jesus catches a bread pronounces the blessing, he breaks him and he gives him to the disciples]
Blessed you are you, oh Master, Our King of the Universe that gives us the bread, fruit of the Earth. Take, eat, therefore this is my body that will be given by you, do this in my memory.
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Everything fits together as soon as the film opens with Orson Welles' narrating the story of the Son of God. Little Jesus grows up to be the very American and impossibly blue-eyed Jeffrey Hunter (his opening scene with Robert Ryan's Baptist is superb), who goes on to cure the lame, the insane, the blind, rehabilitate Mary Magdelene, and all the usual things. Hunter is very good in the role, which may have been surprising at the time given his previous form in Westerns (and later in Star Trek's pilot episode!). Other good points - Hurd 'Dorian Gray' Hatfield as Pilate, the dance of the seven veils, the ending, the glorious score ...
It fits together better than The Greatest Story Ever Told, which got too starry and was spoiled by John Wayne's son of gawd. Here everyone knows their place and the religious context remains unscathed by the whitewash of Hollywood. Excellent.
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