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In Search of Historic Jesus (1979)

This examination of historical sources speculates on the accuracy of the biblical depiction of Jesus.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Crandall ...
Prophet #1
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Synagogue Man #1


This examination of historical sources speculates on the accuracy of the biblical depiction of Jesus.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"2000 years ago on a hilltop near Jerusalem a man was brutally whipped, repeatedly tortured and finally crucified. His name was Jesus." WAS HE THE SON OF GOD?


Documentary | Drama






Release Date:

August 1979 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Jeesus  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$22,438,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Unlike many other movies, the crucifixion of Jesus depicted here shows the nails being driven through his wrists rather than his palms. This may also be the only Jesus movie in which his whipping is shown in a sequence which follows by some minutes a sequence showing his crucifixion. See more »


Narrator: Under normal circumstances, men were tied to the cross, as was the case with the two thieves, but the Romans nailed Jesus to his cross to further humiliate the King of the Jews.
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User Reviews

Bad history but good crucifixion
14 July 2003 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

As a documentary, this is laughable in a campy sort of way -- a schlocky collection of re-created Biblical tableaux mixed in with solemn interviews of so-called "experts." Think of it as an infommercial which pushes Jesus instead of thigh-masters.

However, the detailed crucifixion scene is, in terms of historical accuracy, superior to similar scenes in such widescreen Hollywood extravaganzas as "Ben-Hur," "King of Kings," and "The Greatest Story Ever Told." Rather than dragging his entire cross to Golgotha, for example, John Rubinstein simply carries his crossbeam strapped across his shoulders to his outstretched arms. Nails aren't driven through his palms but instead through his wrists. His feet aren't nailed separately but one is placed over the other so that just one nail need be used. Incidentally, Rubinstein's flogging prior to his crucifixion ranks 35th in the book, "Lash! The Hundred Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies."

Of course, Rubinstein and the two thieves wear modest loincloths, which probably isn't true to the shameful reality of Roman crucifixions, but allowances must be made. Curiously, the "good" thief is positioned on the left hand of Jesus, which goes against a long-standing tradition. Just why this thief is played by a pudgy, overweight man is, however, a mystery, especially in view of the fact that the "bad" thief is something of a "hunk."

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