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The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

The life of Jesus Christ.


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(book), (source writings) | 2 more credits »

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joanna Dunham ...


"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. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 April 1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

George Stevens Presents The Greatest Story Ever Told  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$8,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of art director David S. Hall. See more »


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 »


[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...
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Referenced in The Simpsons: The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed (2010) See more »


Music by Giuseppe Verdi (as Giuseppi Verdi)
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User Reviews

A Letter from George Stevens, Jr.
18 September 2000 | by (Cleveland, Ohio USA) – See all my reviews

On 9/18/00 I received a letter from George Stevens, Jr., replying to my earlier letter to him encouraging his support of his father's four-hour, "uncut," version of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" preparing for dvd. I had suggested in my letter that the original version was undoubtedly his father's artistic vision and thus was the one worthy of preservation for dvd.

Stevens, Jr. responded, in part, " . . . the dvd of 'The Greatest Story Even Told' is underway and MGM-UA has found the original negative of the four-hour version of the film.

There has been a good deal of confusion about the 'official' version of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told.' In recent years I became satisfied that the 3 hour and 20 minute version was the one that my father considered his picture. That came as a result of conversations with Toni Vellani, who worked with my father and has since passed on, and others.

My father, according to Toni, rushed the film for its first two premieres and immediately, at his own initiative, started trimming it to the 3:15 version. He was pleased with this cut. . . .

There was a later shorter version that my father authorized UA to make in an effort to recoup some money -- and that version which ran under 3 hours is of no value at all.

Frankly, I will be interested to see what the additional 40 minutes represents in the long version because, over the years, I've been familiar with the version that runs approximately 3:15. . . ."

This generous explanation from Mr. Stevens, Jr. certainly reveals the intracacies of the purely artistic process as balanced with the business aspect. It also makes one aware that the assumption that the "cut" version was not the preference or the adequate representation of the director, may be inaccurate. In any event at this point, the four-hour dvd version of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" is most eagerly awaited.

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