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The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

R  |   |  Drama  |  22 September 1988 (Netherlands)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 37,411 users   Metascore: 80/100
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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)
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Title: The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 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 <>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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: I'm not gonna leave here until you speak to me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"This film is not based upon the Gospels but on this fictional exploration of the eternal spiritual conflict." See more »


Referenced in Donnie Darko (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This film is superb.
9 February 2000 | by (Mid-west United States) – See all my reviews

Most cinematic depictions of Christ show a perfect being, a one-dimensional person who is overly self confident and almost egotistical. I can never relate to those films, so they aren't believable. The Last Temptation of Christ is totally different. It was banned by intolerant Christians who didn't even see it because they have conflicting viewpoints, which is one hell of a paradox. I use to say that Christ was described as a demi-god in the Bible because He is half-man and half-god, but I was told that He is really all-man and all-god. If the latter thesis is correct, than he most have all the perfections of god as well as all the faults of man. In the movie, Jesus is not perfect. He sins, or at least, He confesses sins. He is haunted by visions and sounds almost to where He goes on the brink of insanity. He is tempted by Satan over and over again into thinking that he is just a man. When He cures a person of blindness, He does not smile, he frowns in pain because for every man he cures, he knows it brings him closer to the cross. The characterization in this movie is excellent. This script is Schrader's best, although it was rewritten. The music is the best I've ever heard in any films. Scorsese's direction was absolutely superb. Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel were excellent as well. And the movie leads you to the most haunting portayal of the crucifixion in cinematic history.

It is a must for any person to see, especially if you were outraged by the fact that Jesus is displayed as imperfect. You cannot do the film justice if you don't watch the whole film. You may be offended throughout the entire film, but it all comes together in the end and all is well. Seriously, I give the film five stars.

126 of 185 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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