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The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

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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(novel), (screenplay)
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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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Michael Been ...
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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

The Jews have American accents (primarily from the New York region) while the Romans have British accents. 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

The Lion: I feel sorry for you. You were lonely. You cried, so I came.
Jesus: [wary] I didn't call for you. Who are you?
The Lion: Your spirit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Strangers with Candy: The Last Temptation of Blank (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
an alternative reality for Christ
13 March 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel, directed by Martin Scorsese, caused quite a stir on its initial release, accused of blasphemy and of causing offence to the Christian religion.

However, in its depiction of Jesus Christ as a human being rather than a man divine, it gets to the core of his story. This is a man who makes the choice of self-sacrifice for the good of his fellow men, despite the temptations of an alternative life - shown in this film by a life with Mary Magdelene rather than dying at the Crucifixion.

Played by Willem Dafoe with great sensitivity, this Christ performs miracles and discusses the intricacies of life and death with his disciples. Harvey Keitel is Judas, a rough man who fails to understand the significance of being the chosen Son of God; while Barbara Hershey is an effective Magdelene. David Bowie makes a short appearance as Pontius Pilate and is surprisingly good.

'The Last Temptation of Christ' is not one of Scorsese's best films but it certainly sparks questions and leaves food for thought. Some of the imagery is superb and the script is coherent and of a high standard.


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