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"Jesus of Nazareth"
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"Jesus of Nazareth" (1977) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1977-1977

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Jesus of Nazareth: :  -- A reverent depiction of the life of Christ using the Gospel accounts.


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8.6/10   11,397 votes »
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Anthony Burgess (written by) &
Suso Cecchi D'Amico (written by) ...
View company contact information for Jesus of Nazareth on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 April 1977 (USA) See more »
A reverent depiction of the life of Christ using the Gospel accounts.
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
Made for Television Masterpiece See more (129 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 27 of 63)

Robert Powell ... Jesus Christ (2 episodes, 1977)

Anne Bancroft ... Mary Magdalene (2 episodes, 1977)

Ernest Borgnine ... The Centurion (2 episodes, 1977)

James Farentino ... Simon Peter (2 episodes, 1977)

Ian McShane ... Judas Iscariot (2 episodes, 1977)

Christopher Plummer ... Herod Antipas (2 episodes, 1977)

Olivia Hussey ... Virgin Mary (2 episodes, 1977)
Tony Vogel ... Andrew (2 episodes, 1977)
John Duttine ... John the Evangelist (2 episodes, 1977)

Michael York ... John the Baptist (2 episodes, 1977)
Jonathan Muller ... James I (2 episodes, 1977)

Claudia Cardinale ... The Adulteress / ... (2 episodes, 1977)

Valentina Cortese ... Herodias (2 episodes, 1977)
Sergio Nicolai ... James II (2 episodes, 1977)

James Mason ... Joseph of Arimathea (2 episodes, 1977)

Laurence Olivier ... Nicodemus (2 episodes, 1977)

Anthony Quinn ... Caiaphas (2 episodes, 1977)

Rod Steiger ... Pontius Pilate (2 episodes, 1977)
John Eastham ... Bartholomew (2 episodes, 1977)

Ian Holm ... Zerah (2 episodes, 1977)

Ian Bannen ... Amos (2 episodes, 1977)
Keith Washington ... Matthew (2 episodes, 1977)
Norman Eshley ... Joseph (2 episodes, 1977)
David Garfield ... Amos (2 episodes, 1977)
Robert Rietty ... Various small roles (2 episodes, 1977)
Nikki Van der Zyl ... Salome (2 episodes, 1977)
Yorgos Vogiatzis ... Joseph (2 episodes, 1977)

Series Directed by
Franco Zeffirelli (2 episodes, 1977)
Series Writing credits
Anthony Burgess (unknown episodes)
David Butler (unknown episodes)
Suso Cecchi D'Amico (unknown episodes)
Franco Zeffirelli (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
Tarak Ben Ammar .... deputy producer: Tunisia (unknown episodes)
Lew Grade .... executive producer (unknown episodes)
Bernard J. Kingham .... executive producer (unknown episodes)
Vincenzo Labella .... producer (unknown episodes)
Dyson Lovell .... associate producer (unknown episodes)
Series Original Music by
Maurice Jarre (unknown episodes)
Series Cinematography by
Armando Nannuzzi (unknown episodes)
David Watkin (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Reginald Mills (unknown episodes)
Series Casting by
Dyson Lovell (unknown episodes)
Series Production Design by
Gianni Quaranta (unknown episodes)
Series Costume Design by
Marcel Escoffier (unknown episodes)
Enrico Sabbatini (unknown episodes)
Series Makeup Department
Ennio Cascioli .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Otello Fava .... makeup artist (unknown episodes)
Stefano Fava .... makeup artist (unknown episodes)
Giancarlo Marin .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Series Production Management
Abdellatif Ben Ammar .... production manager (unknown episodes)
Eros Lafranconi .... production manager (unknown episodes)
Luciano Piperno .... production supervisor (unknown episodes)
Abdelaziz Ramdani .... production manager (unknown episodes)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Piero Amati .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1977)

Mohamed Abbazi .... assistant director (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Alvaro Passeri .... assistant production designer (2 episodes, 1977)
Umberto Vandilli .... painter (2 episodes, 1977)

Francesco Fedeli .... scenic artist (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
David Stephenson .... boom operator (2 episodes, 1977)

Gerry Humphreys .... sound recordist (unknown episodes)
Simon Kaye .... sound recordist (unknown episodes)
Peter Maxwell .... adr mixer (unknown episodes)
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist (unknown episodes)
Don Sharpe .... dubbing editor (unknown episodes)
Lionel Strutt .... sound re-recording mixer (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Freddie Cooper .... camera operator (unknown episodes)
Nino Cristiani .... camera operator (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Giovanni Viti .... assistant costume designer (unknown episodes)
Series Editorial Department
Chris Kelly .... assistant editor (unknown episodes)
Series Music Department
Frank Barber .... music assistant (unknown episodes)
Maurice Jarre .... conductor (unknown episodes)
Series Other crew
Alberto Testa .... choreographer (unknown episodes, 1977)
Yvonne Axeworthy .... continuity (unknown episodes)
Stefano Priori .... assistant accountant (unknown episodes)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
382 min | UK:180 min (2 episodes) | Italy:237 min (theatrical version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:G (cut version) | Australia:M (original uncut version) | Canada:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Egypt:(Banned) | Finland:K-12 (1997) | Norway:10 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:All | UK:PG | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Banned in Egypt after religious leaders objected to its content.See more »
Factual errors: The movie scripting refers to Pontius Pilate as a "procurator", a specific post that differs from the one that the Gospels imply that he held - prefect or governor. Historically, Pontius Pilate's title was thought to have been procurator but an inscription on a limestone block - apparently a dedication to Tiberius Caesar Augustus - that was discovered in 1961 in the ruins of an amphitheater called Caesarea Maritima refers to Pilate as "prefect of Judeaea". Archaeologists believe it to be genuine. In this instance, the Gospel account is supported by archaeology, since the surviving inscription discovered at Caeserae states that Pilate was prefect and the movie should have followed also as it is based on Gospel accounts.See more »
Simon Peter:[Peter is drunk] Andrew. Andrew, I'm not like you. I'm not a follower of priests and prophets; I'm a fisherman. I've got my family to think of. You followed the Baptist, now follow this one...
Philip:[grabbing Peter's Arm] Peter!
Simon Peter:[wresting free] Just leave me alone! Why did you bring Him here to me?
[grabbing his net]
Simon Peter:*This* is my life! My nets... my boat.
Simon Peter:Go on! Follow Him! But leave me!
Andrew:Come on, you can't talk to him when he's like this.
[motioning the others to leave]
Andrew:Come on, Philip.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The King of Kings (1927)See more »


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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Made for Television Masterpiece, 27 June 2006
Author: John Ruffle from London, England

With Franco Zeffirelli's 1977 made for television masterpiece and Anthony Burgess' screenplay, religious film simply does not get any better than this. Much as I admire Mel Gibson's monumental depiction of the last 12 hours of Jesus' life in "The Passion of the Christ", I still believe that the yardstick by which all 'passion play' genre films will be judged in future generations will be "Jesus of Nazareth".

After completing "Brother Son, Sister Moon", Zeffirelli turned (the Jewish) Sir Lew Grade down flat for this project, stubbornly refusing to engage on the project for a year and a half. As his other stage and screen projects turned to dust, however, he finally accepted the task. What finally convinced him was his conviction that the film could be compassionate towards the Jews, and thus could help undo some of the past hatred for which Christianity was renowned.

Burgess and Zeffirelli was a match made in heaven: Burgess turned in a script that took great liberties with the sacred text. Zeffirelli was uneasy with his liberalism, and sought to bring the script back to a more faithful rendition; yet Burgess' awesomely effective dramatic structure remains. Interestingly, Ingmar Bergman had already been asked to turn in a treatment, apparently before Zeffirelli was ever approached. However, the Roman Catholics who had been the original driving force for the project strongly objected to Bergman's idea of a series of mini lives of Jesus, as seen from the viewpoint of different characters.

Bergman was dismissive of the final Zeffirelli project, and it is certain that it would have been an entirely different film had he been asked to direct. While there is much to respect about Bergman, he would have been totally incapable of producing the beauty, purity and meaning in the hidden text that is so apparent in the final film.

Less than seven years later, Zeffirelli estimated that 750,000 people had seen the film. I saw the original transmission on American television in 1977, (it was aired nationwide at least twice in two years), and I also have an original and ageing VHS (PAL) copy. I plan a London revival of the series during Lent 2007, to mark the film's 30th anniversary. Back in 1977, it was the talk of the nation - in St. Louis, I heard of one lady who was instantly healed of cancer as she watched the crucifixion scene.

Interestingly, the resurrection scene nearly never got filmed. In fact, what we do see on screen is simply screen test material rescued from the editing bin at the final hour! The information above is documented in Franco Zeffirelli book, "Jesus: a Spiritual Diary" (1984: NY. Harper & Row) and Ingmar Bergman's "The Magic Lantern" (1988: London: Hamish Hamilton). However, there is no substitute for watching this masterpiece: in a word, it's awesome!

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Official U.S. Blu-Ray Release nycmale99
I didn't like the fact that.... siliconfiles
Can someone list the missing scenes? johnnygel
The REAL full version is here johnnygel
You can purchase the 382 minute DVD here: officialnathanbanks
Complete Blu-Ray nycmale99
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