The director had great ambitions;he wanted to mix politics with religion but the results show too much confusion,and the fact that Jesus and Judas are played by the same actor (!) doesn't help.Actually Jesus appears lately in the production ;the first half is marred by too many subplots :the aqueduct,the young girl who tries to seduce Pilate,the Sanhedrin,Nicodemus,gladiators devoured by ouch! crocodiles,Barabbas who sometimes seems at the Sanhedrin's beck and call,and of course the Temple.Irving Rapper has certainly De Millesque ambitions but he 's no match for the "ten commandments" man.He should have stuck to melodrama ("Now voyager",1942).
Pilate is played by great actor Jean Marais,but the production is overwhelming and he can't really display his brilliant skills.In fact,the movie is a flashback (Why?The screen play did not ask for that at all).
The second part is more run of the mill Passion stuff even if the camera focuses on Pilate,showing the crucifixion from a distance.To "enliven" things a bit,it seems that Good Friday events are turned into a disaster movie,complete with destruction of Pilate's palace and his wife's death.
Rapper ,like Wyler before him in "Ben Hur" ,never shows the Christ's face,except for a shot of his eyes.As for Barabbas,you'll always be better off with Richard Fleischer's eponymous movie(1962)
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?