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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.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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4,458 ( 501)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1988 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Passion  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$8,373,585 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Martin Scorsese was planning the movie circa 1983-84, Aidan Quinn was cast as Jesus, Sting was cast as Pontius Pilate, Vanity was cast as Mary Magdalene and Ray Davies was cast as Judas Iscariot. See more »

Goofs

The film opens with a printed text, translated from the writings of Nikos Kazantzakis. It contains the line "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." The word "principle" is used incorrectly, the correct context is "principal." This mistake has not been corrected in any home video release despite being widely noted ever since the movie first came out. See more »

Quotes

Jesus: You think God belongs only to you? He doesn't. God is an immortal spirit who belongs to everybody, to the whole world. You think you're special? God is not an Israelite.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, Peter Gabriel, composer for the film, credits all the people that used instruments for the music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pure Bible Study: Second Peter 2: The Real Prophet (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"It is Accomplished!"
24 February 2002 | by (Gresham, OR) – See all my reviews

This is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen! I was amazed with all of the performances. This is certainly one of Martin Scorsese's great accomplishments in his extensive and highly acclaimed carrier. This movie was very important to Scorsese and he would put it off several times because he felt he wasn't ready to do it. I think that the wait was worth it, because this was an outstanding movie.

This is one of those movies that you either really liked, or really didn't like. Most of the people who didn't like this found it to be a mockery of the Gospels and Christ himself. I liked it because it did follow the Bible very closely, it was a fantastic telling of Jesus Christ's last days and his greatest accomplishments, and because the acting was very good.

I thought Willem Defoe was spell binding as Jesus Christ. Some people will say that he wasn't enough like Jesus, but you do have to realize that this is probably the hardest character to play and I think that Defoe did the best job that anyone could have done at playing Christ. Harvey Keitel did an equally excellent job at playing Judas, Jesus's best friend, who eventually betrays Him so the world can be saved. This may be Keitel's best performance (if not, it is one of the three). Barbara Hershey was also a great supporting roll as Mary Magdalene.

This movie is certainly not for everyone. Many people with very strong religious convictions will see this movie as offensive, simply because Christ is portrayed a frightened man who sees his fate as a burdon through 'half' of the film, and I implicate the word 'half' for a reason. For everyone else, I say go rent this, because this is a powerful and magnificent version of the final months of Christ. When you watch this, you just might have to wonder (I know I did), what will be the last temptation of Christ? 10/10


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