IMDb > King of Kings (1961)
King of Kings
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

King of Kings (1961) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 20 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
King of Kings -- The powerful and critically-acclaimed story of Jesus told in a strikingly beautiful visual style.
King of Kings -- Theatrical trailer for this biblical tale


User Rating:
7.1/10   4,365 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
No change in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Philip Yordan (screenplay)
View company contact information for King of Kings on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 October 1961 (USA) See more »
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 »
The life of Jesus Christ. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination See more »
(45 articles)
‘The Gospel According to Matthew’ one of the great works of world cinema
 (From SoundOnSight. 8 March 2014, 11:11 AM, PST)

Review: Son Of God Preaches To The Choir
 (From Twitch. 27 February 2014, 9:01 PM, PST)

 (From Variety - TV News. 13 December 2013, 10:40 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
"Lo, I Am With You" See more (102 total) »


  (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
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 .... choreography: for Salome's dance
Agnes Moorehead .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Samuel Bronston's Production King of Kings" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for some violent content
168 min
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)
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) (MPAA rating: certificate #19712) | West Germany:6
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

King of Kings (1961) date of release, Monday, October 30th, 1961, was 23 years after off-screen narrator, Orson Welles (& other Mercury Theatre Radio station co-workers & members) scared numerous radio listeners, all across the United States of America, of the science-fiction novel written by H.G. Wells, he titled "The War of the Words". Their live CBS radio broadcast occurred on Sunday evening, October 30th, 1938.See more »
Revealing mistakes: The lance that is thrown at the Jews during the battle sequence has a string attached to it.See more »
Lucius:[after Jesus dies] He is truly the Christ!See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
21 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
"Lo, I Am With You", 12 February 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

A few years earlier than George Stevens mammoth all star film about the life of Jesus was this film by Nicholas Ray. Taking, it's title from the Cecil B. DeMille silent film, this version of King of Kings is in no way a remake of the DeMille epic. This King of Kings is a moving reverential account of the life of the obscure carpenter from Galilee whose thoughts still move millions today. The voice you hear doing the narration bridging of the various episodes of Jesus's life is the familiar one of Orson Welles.

Nicholas Ray shot this film in Spain with the broad central plain serving as Judea in the early years of AD. Unlike Stevens, Nicholas Ray used second line players for the most part, the biggest name in the cast is that of Robert Ryan as John the Baptist.

Jesus is played by Jeffrey Hunter and if you were to ask today's movie fans what they most remember about Hunter, they will either say his role in the original Star Trek pilot as Captain Christopher Pike, or his two roles in John Ford films, The Searchers and Sergeant Rutledge. Some reviewers have remarked about Hunter's blue eyes, personally I think Nicholas Ray might have cast Hunter with those baby blues to mark Jesus as indeed unique among the populace of Judea. In any event it's a sincere portrayal that Hunter gives. He's most effective in the Sermon on the Mount scene.

King of Kings takes a great deal more liberties with the four Gospels than does the Greatest Story Ever Told. It fleshes out the peripheral characters in the Bible giving them more identity than Scripture does. Barabbas as played by Harry Guardino is a guerrilla leader rather than a bandit and Rip Torn who is Judas is one of his associates who leaves Barabbas after the Sermon on the Mount.

Judas's motives for betrayal are explained as an effort to force Jesus's hand. He wants Jesus to use his power of miracles to aid in the freedom fight against Rome. I think most people view Judas as doing what he did because he totally failed to understand the mission and nature of who he was following, What Ray does here is deepen that context.

There are a few scenes in their besides this part of the storyline that are not biblically found. After Jesus saves Mary Magdalene, Carmen Sevilla as Mary goes searching for him and visits with Mary his mother who is played by Siobhan McKenna. They talk for a bit, McKenna describes some of the miracles attributed to her son.

Jesus himself drops out of biblical dialog in a scene where he asks to visit John the Baptist. The scene is with the Centurion Lucius who was present at the massacre in Bethlehem and later would pronounce His epitaph at the cross. Ron Randell plays Lucius and his Lucius is a world weary professional soldier, sickened by the court of Herod the Great and his successor Herod Antipas. He hates having to serve these people because Rome is backing them as surrogate leaders. Randell has a key role here, he serves as a prototype for the gentiles who Jesus says his disciples must minister to.

Being inveterate star gazer I am, I do like The Greatest Story Ever Told better. But King of Kings is still a fine retelling of that selfsame story.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (102 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for King of Kings (1961)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why are these kinds of movies no longer shown on television?? Emmjewels
Orson Welles... atlantean54
The credits-use of the word 'co-starring' pjhakaluigi
Like of Brian would be a good companion piece polsixe
Lucius almost gives a good defense polsixe
lots of stuff missing. rac2873
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Greatest Story Ever Told Ben-Hur The Last Temptation of Christ St. Paul Religulous
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Biography section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.