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The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

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The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.



(novel), (screenplay)
4,298 ( 679)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Greco ...
Centurian (as Steven Shill)
Michael Been ...
Nathaniel, Apostle


The carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth, tormented by the temptations of demons, the guilt of making crosses for the Romans, pity for men and the world, and the constant call of God, sets out to find what God wills for Him. But as His mission nears fulfillment, He must face the greatest temptation; the normal life of a good man. Based, not on the Gospels, but on Nikos Kazantzakis' novel of the same name. Written by Nick Lopez <ntlopez@fas.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 September 1988 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Passion  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)


$8,373,585 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Willem Dafoe could not see for three days because he got too many eye drops to dilate the pupils of his eyes in bright sunlight to achieve a superhuman effect. See more »


In the market when Saul pulls Judas aside and asks "what are you doing with this magician?", the shadow of the boom mic is visible on the stone above Saul's head. See more »


Jesus: Do you think that God belongs only to you? He doesn't: God's an immortal spirit who belongs to everybody! To the whole world! You think, you are special? God is not an Israelite!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Foreword: "The dual substance of Christ - the yearning, so human, so superhuman, of man to attain God... has always been a deep inscrutable mystery to me. My principle anguish and source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh... And my soul is the arena where these two armies have clashed and met." Nikcos Kazantzakis from the book "The Last Temptation of Christ" See more »


Referenced in The Riches: The Last Temptation of Wayne (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Deeply Religious Movie
25 September 1998 | by See all my reviews

Despite what its critics say (most of whom haven't even seen the movie), "The Last Temptation of Christ" is one of the most deeply religious movies I have ever seen. What makes it so powerful is that it does not portray Jesus as an all-righteous, preachy figure; it portrays Him as a man. He was the son of God, but more importantly He was human. He could hurt, love, feel pain and joy, and He could make mistakes just like any of us. He had to overcome temptation. Martin Scorsese, for whom this was a long labor of love, directs a beautiful movie with all around excellent performances, particularly Harvey Keitel as Judas and Willem Defoe as Jesus. The "Last Temptation" segment which draws most of the movie's criticism, is the most important part of all because it shows how close God truly is to us, if only those critics would watch the movie before judging it, they might realize that.

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