MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 709 this week

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

 -  Drama | History  -  7 October 1965 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 4,125 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 14 critic

The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel: "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by), (screen story and screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 15 Oct 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 21 Feb 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 05 Dec 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 25 Feb 2014
 
a list of 44 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Agony and the Ecstasy.

User Polls

Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A butler working in a foreign embassy in London falls under suspicion when his wife accidentally falls to her death, the only witness being an impressionable young boy.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan, Sonia Dresdel
Flap (1970)
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Comedy based on the plight of modern North Americans living on reservations.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Claude Akins, Tony Bill
The War Lord (1965)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the ... See full summary »

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After the murder of her lover Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Marc Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor - Octavius.

Director: Charlton Heston
Stars: Charlton Heston, Hildegard Neil, Eric Porter
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Hard up and with a grudge against insurance companies, Rex Black feigns his death and meets up with his wife and the money in Malaga when things seemed to have quietened down. But when the ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Lee Remick, Alan Bates
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Post-World War II, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military that has married the German Bettina Mallison. The naive ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: James Mason, Claire Bloom, Hildegard Knef
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China U.S.Army Major Matt Lewis aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When Confederate officer Colt Saunders returns to his Texas ranch after the war he finds his lands wanted by carpetbaggers and by corrupt provisional government commissioners Harrison and Cable.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Charlton Heston, Anne Baxter, Gilbert Roland
Julius Caesar (1950)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: David Bradley
Stars: Harold Tasker, Charlton Heston, David Bradley
El Cid (1961)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a straight-laced British accountant marries a free-spirited American, he starts trying to change her. His wife doesn't keep regular hours, so he suspects an affair and hires a ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Mia Farrow, Topol, Michael Jayston
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Liverpool tug boat captain finds he's won a fortune on the penny pools and it changes his life. However, after giving up his job and throwing a large expensive party, he discovers that he... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Betty Driver, Jimmy O'Dea
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Contessina de'Medici
...
Alberto Lupo ...
...
Venantino Venantini ...
Paris De Grassis
John Stacy ...
Fausto Tozzi ...
Foreman
Maxine Audley ...
Woman
...
Edit

Storyline

Pope Julius is eager to leave behind works by which he will be remembered. To this end he cajoles Michelangelo into painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When not on the battlefield uniting Italy, the Pope nags Michelangelo to speed up his painful work on the frescoes. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the age of magnificence comes a new magnificence in motion pictures See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 October 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cardinal Giovanni de Medici succeeded to the papacy after the death of Julius II in 1513, becoming Pope Leo X, the first of four Medici popes. See more »

Goofs

On the eastern wall of the Sistine Chapel, we can see two frescoes that have been painted by Arrigo Paludano in 1571 and Matteo da Lecce, thirty years after Michelangelo completed the Last Judgement (1541). They replaced the first paintings by Signorelli and Ghirlandaio destroyed by a partial collapsing of the wall. Obviously, they couldn't be shown if the action takes place between 1508 and 1512. See more »

Quotes

[repeated exchange]
Pope Julius II: When will you make an end?
Michelangelo: When I am finished!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

They don't come much more epic than this
4 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

When you think about it, making a movie about artistry is pretty hard. Painting, writing, sculpting, music, whatever, it's not easy to make the act very interesting--painting is painstaking, it takes a long time. But in this movie, they succeed. Not just making a movie, but making an epic, a massive movie out of an act of creation, is a tough thing to do. But they really do succeed. At the heart of the movie isn't really the act of creation, or the passion for it, or even the ceiling itself--it's the adversarial relationship between Rex Harrison (Pope Julius II) and Charlton Heston (Michaelangelo).

It's certainly not that passion and creation are not here, it's just that they enrich the story about two men and their relationship. When Julius comes into the chapel in the middle of the night, and Michaelangelo is invariably there, there's a bond, even with silent incipient tension.

Heston is of course the only person for this role, as epics go, he's the best. For some reason he manages not to be overcome by the massive scale of these sorts of movies--something that happens to almost everyone else (look at Sinatra and Cary Grant in "the Pride and the Passion", they are totally lost in the grande scale, and they're the incomparable Grant and the larger than life Sinatra, not much more to be said there). Heston makes a solid tortured artist and Rex Harrison is quite wonderful as the Pope. He communicates the strength and intelligence of a Pope who loves art but must go to battle to preserve all that he holds dear. There's a scene when the Pope wants people to see the half completed chapel, since he has grown impatient with the time and when Michaelangelo bitterly objects, Harrison explodes with anger--extremely effective. When Harrison passed, it was truly a loss to movies.

There are flaws, no question, and it's not Heston's best work, course, once you've done Ben Hur and the Ten Commandments, nothing else is going to be your best work. The subplot with the sort of love interest is pretty silly, and it goes on a bit too long. The earnestness of the faith in the church, the sincerity of Heston when he says "Holiness" to the pope, a man that drives him crazy, is poignant. His faith is deep, almost as if he derives his love of art from a love of God. There are even some nice moments of levity as when a spattered Michaelangelo spits out a gob of paint and it lands near a watching Julius; or when the Pope creates a cardinal out of teen for payment in order to keep up the painting.

When it comes to big movies, this definitely lays with a handful of others that will never be surpassed--Titanic tried to be this kind of movie, and proves that even with $200 million and all the nifty gizmos of the modern age, it's very difficult to do; c'mon, Rex Harrison and Charlton Heston compared to Leo DeCaprio and Billy Zane--not much of a contest there.

See the movie, forgive it its flaws and appreciate the richness and nuance of the relationship between Pope and Artist.


20 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wasn't Michelangelo gay? mrjones7
Intermission? porcacultor
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965). joan.murphy
AGH bad movie! samiblah
70mm Restoration print CBScherer
Loved this bit.. sametic
Discuss The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?