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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 37,416 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 302 user | 110 critic | 18 from

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?


David Carradine claimed, in a 2003 Entertainment Weekly interview, to have been Martin Scorsese's first choice for the role of Jesus back in 1972. See more »


The state of Mary Magdalene's robe when confronted by Jesus at the beginning. See more »


Jesus: Brothers, my old friends! Listen to me! It's me the prophets preached about. God talked to me in the desert; he gave me a secret and told me to bring it to you. Didn't you hear me coming? I ran here to Nazareth, where I grew up, to bring you the news. The word of God is here now.
Voice in Crowd: You work miracles. Make a miracle for us. Make us believe in you. Otherwise, go away.
Jesus: The Messiah doesn't need miracles. He is the miracle. Now he's here. Are you ready for me? I'm here to tear down everything around ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just before the credits, there is a flash of colors which leads to the credits "paged up" behind a yellow background. See more »


References Boxcar Bertha (1972) 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.

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