IMDb > King of Kings (1961)
King of Kings
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King of Kings (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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King of Kings -- Theatrical trailer for this biblical tale

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   3,784 votes »
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Down 33% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Philip Yordan (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for King of Kings on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 October 1961 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The most exciting human drama the screen has ever told. A story of the Christ, His life, His deeds, the inspiration of His spoken words. See more »
Plot:
The life of Jesus Christ. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
"I am fire, he is water! How can we ever meet?" See more (97 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jeffrey Hunter ... Jesus
Siobhan McKenna ... Mary
Hurd Hatfield ... Pontius Pilate
Ron Randell ... Lucius

Viveca Lindfors ... Claudia
Rita Gam ... Herodias
Carmen Sevilla ... Mary Magdalene
Brigid Bazlen ... Salome

Harry Guardino ... Barabbas

Rip Torn ... Judas

Frank Thring ... Herod Antipas

Guy Rolfe ... Caiaphas

Royal Dano ... Peter

Robert Ryan ... John The Baptist
Edric Connor ... Balthazar
Maurice Marsac ... Nicodemus
Grégoire Aslan ... Herod (as Gregoire Aslan)
George Coulouris ... Camel Driver
Conrado San Martín ... General Pompey
Gérard Tichy ... Joseph (as Gerard Tichy)

Antonio Mayans ... Young John (as José Antonio)
Luis Prendes ... Good Thief
David Davies ... Burly Man
José Nieto ... Caspar
Rubén Rojo ... Matthew (as Ruben Rojo)
Fernando Sancho ... Madman
Michael Wager ... Thomas
Félix de Pomés ... Joseph of Arimathea (as Felix de Pomes)
Adriano Rimoldi ... Melchior
Barry Keegan ... Bad Thief
Rafael Luis Calvo ... Simon of Cyrene
Tino Barrero ... Andrew
Paco Morán ... Blind Man (as Francisco Moran)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Braña ... Roman Soldier (uncredited)
Cris Huerta ... Jewish Rebel (uncredited)

John Kerr ... Man at Sermon on the Mount (uncredited)
Paul Naschy ... Herod Antipas' Servant (uncredited)
Randy Paar ... Extra in Palm Sunday Scene (uncredited)

Aldo Sambrell ... Judea Soldier (uncredited)
Bud Strait ... John the Apostle (uncredited)
Ron Veto ... Bit part (uncredited)

Orson Welles ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Nicholas Ray 
 
Writing credits
Philip Yordan (screenplay)

Ray Bradbury  narration (uncredited)

Produced by
Samuel Bronston .... producer
Alan Brown .... associate producer
Jaime Prades .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
 
Cinematography by
Manuel Berenguer (director of photography)
Milton R. Krasner (director of photography) (as Milton Krasner)
Franz Planer (director of photography) (as Franz F. Planer)
 
Film Editing by
Harold F. Kress 
Renée Lichtig (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Enrique Alarcón (set decorations) (as Enrique Alarcon)
 
Costume Design by
Georges Wakhévitch (costumes designed by) (as Georges Wakhevitch)
 
Makeup Department
Anna Cristofani .... hair stylist
Charles E. Parker .... makeup creator (as Charles Parker)
Mario Van Riel .... makeup creator
 
Production Management
Stanley Goldsmith .... general production manager
Carl 'Major' Roup .... unit manager (uncredited)
Tadeo Villalba .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Noël Howard .... second unit director (as Noel Howard)
Carlo Lastricati .... assistant director
José López Rodero .... assistant director (as José Lopez Rodero)
José María Ochoa .... assistant director (as José Maria Ochoa)
Sumner Williams .... second unit director
Simon Mizrahi .... assistant director (uncredited)
Julio Sempere .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Stanley Detlie .... master of properties
Georges Wakhévitch .... sets designer (as Georges Wakhevitch)
Benjamín Fernández .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Julián Martín .... painter (uncredited)
Vicente Sempere Sempere .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Basil Fenton-Smith .... sound recordist (as Basil Fenton Smith)
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
John Brommage .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Alex Weldon .... special effects (as Alex C. Weldon)
 
Visual Effects by
Lee LeBlanc .... special photographic effects
 
Stunts
Miguel Pedregosa .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Yorke .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Norton Kurland .... supervising electrician
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eric Seelig .... supervisor of costuming
 
Music Department
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Carl Gibson .... supervising technician
Maciek Piotrowski .... murals
Betty Utey .... choreographer: for Salome's dance
Agnes Moorehead .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Samuel Bronston's Production King of Kings" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for some violent content
Runtime:
168 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (35mm prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System) | Mono (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:S | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | South Korea:All | Sweden:15 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | UK:U (video rating) (1993) (1999) | USA:PG-13 | USA:Approved (original rating) (certificate #19712) | West Germany:6
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Franz Planer, the original Director of Photography, suffered a heatstroke during principal photography of the Sermon on the Mount sequence in Spain. This became one of his last films and he passed away only a few years later.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The wife of Pontius Pilate calls the Emperor Tiberius her father, but in history no daughter or stepdaughter of Tiberius has been married to Pontius Pilate.See more »
Quotes:
John the Baptist:[to Herodias] Woman, is not your cup of abominations full enough?See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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25 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
"I am fire, he is water! How can we ever meet?", 17 April 2006
Author: TrevorAclea from London, England

For all its low reputation, Samuel Bronston's much-mocked King of Kings is easily the best and most intelligent of the 'devotional' versions of the life of Christ, largely because it sets Jesus as a historical figure and, to a degree, a victim of history and politics in troubled times. More importantly, it manages to do it without being as relentlessly dreary and one-note as George Stevens' The Greatest Story Ever Told, which becomes more of an endurance test with each passing year. Even the vigorously-staged battle scenes serve a real dramatic purpose, pitting Barabbas' Davidic warrior would-be Messiah against Jesus' spiritual deliverer ("I am fire, he is water – how can we ever meet?") that is many ways the real conflict of the film: the fight between material pragmatism (the Romans, Herod, Barabbas) and spiritual idealism (Jesus and his followers). Even Caiphas is given a very modern reading, not as a black-hearted villain but as an unpopular Roman-appointed religious leader who genuinely cares for his flock, fearing that Jesus' popularity could be used by the Romans to start a Holocaust that will destroy his people.

There's much imagination at work too: while Jeffrey Hunter's Messiah suffers from MGM's insistence on redubbing the part in more 'masterful' tones, he proactively interacts with the crowd in the Sermon on the Mount, played almost like a press conference, while the Last Supper takes its visual design not from Da Vinci but from the CND's peace symbol. The casting IS variable – Robert Ryan's John the Baptist, Hurd Hatfield's Pontius Pilate, Harry Guardino's Barabbas, Ron Randell's centurion, Guy Rolfe's Caiphas and Gregoire Aslan and the great Frank Thring as Herod Sr. and Jr. are fine, but Rip Torn is surprisingly awkward as an otherwise well-conceived Judas Iscariot doomed by compromise, Royal Dano's Simon Peter is a better idea on paper than on screen (particularly when given dialogue) and Siobhan McKenna's eminently punchable misty-eyed Mary is a tad too Oirish Catlic for my tastes. Yet despite its weaknesses and the virtual sidelining of Jesus for much of the running time – this is more a film about His times and His effect on those around Him than His life – it's never less than totally involving, and often genuinely moving.

Despite reputedly losing interest in post-production, Nicholas Ray's direction is excellent, his mastery of the wide screen making great use of the 70mm format and showing real inspiration in his handling of some of the miracles, scenes greatly enhanced by Miklos Rozsa's superlative score. Even Ray Bradbury's poetic narration, beautifully delivered by Orson Welles, originally intended as a quick fix to paper over the cracks in the narrative, genuinely adds to the film's complex political picture of an occupied territory at war with itself. Not that some of the cracks aren't still visible, as in the meaningful exchange of looks on the Temple steps between Jesus and Richard Johnson (whose constantly changing part – one day a freed gladiator, the next an Arab, the next a Romanized Jew - was otherwise totally deleted). But they're minor complaints in an extraordinary epic that achieves more of its ambitions than its given credit for.

Incidentally, how on earth did they get the obscene graffiti on the barracks walls past the censors in 1961? Less obvious on the DVD copy, you can't miss it on the 70mm prints!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (97 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for King of Kings (1961)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
lots of stuff missing. rac2873
Does it have a Jesus-cleansing-the- temple (A.K.A money-changers) scene? Darkehmen
Orson Welles... atlantean54
The credits-use of the word 'co-starring' pjhakaluigi
Who was the woman who wiped Jesus' forehead while he carried the cross? aircrftmec
Why are these kinds of movies no longer shown on television?? Emmjewels
See more »

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