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The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

 -  Biography | Drama | History  -  9 April 1965 (UK)
6.5
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Reviews: 92 user | 24 critic

The life of Jesus Christ.

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(book), (source writings), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ina Balin ...
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Joanna Dunham ...
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Storyline

George Stevens' epic production. "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" It is towards this climactic crossroads that the story of Jesus of Nazareth leads, and to which, at the final moment, it again looks back in triumphant retrospect. It is the anguishing crossroads where the eternal questions of faith and doubt become resolved. Star-studded cast includes Max Von Sydow (as Jesus), Dorothy McGuire (as Mary), Robert Loggia (as Joseph), Charlton Heston (as John the Baptist), Michael Anderson, Jr., Robert Blake, Jamie Farr, David McCallum, Roddy McDowall, Ina Balin, Janet Margolin, Sidney Poitier, Carroll Baker, Pat Boone, Van Heflin, Sal Mineo, Shelley Winters, Ed Wynn, John Wayne, Telly Savalas, Angela Lansbury, Paul Stewart, Harold J. Stone, Martin Landau, Joseph Schildkraut, Victor Buono, Jose Ferrer, Claude Rains, Donald Pleasence, Richard Conte and Cyril Delevanti. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 April 1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

George Stevens Presents The Greatest Story Ever Told  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$8,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(edited) | (re-issue) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joanna Dunham, who played Mary Magdalene, became pregnant during filming. The director worked around this by shooting her from the chest up as much as possible, making her later scenes markedly unlike the earlier ones. See more »

Goofs

After Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead, three men run to a castle on a hill to announce the miracles that Jesus has performed. In the long shot, the first man runs up to the castle entrance into the shade. The shade disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [first lines]
Narrator: In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. I am He. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him, was made nothing that has been made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of man. And the light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness grasped it not. The greatest story ever told...
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Thorn (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Requiem
Music by Giuseppi Verdi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It Wasn't
22 February 2007 | by (Central City, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

While there were a few worthwhile performances in this film, it simply does not come close to living up to the title. The musical score was draggy or unoriginal, and the loading down of the film with every Hollywood star they could cram into the film just detracted greatly from the film. Von Sydow's Jesus was wooden and one dimensional. In the earlier released "King of Kings" Jeff Hunter gave you a Christ that was filled with the emotions and compassion of the son of God, while in this version it just wasn't there. Charlton Heston's John the Baptist was one of the few good things about the film, while, as much as I respect John Wayne as a star, his one line cameo was laughable and so unbelievable as to make one cringe. Claude Rains did shine out as Herod the great, while Telly Savalis might as well have been reading lines from Kojack.

It is not the worst film of all time. But the attempt to recapture the grandeur of the Bible Epic days was way lost here.


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