"The Living Christ Series" is considered to be the first "unofficial" television mini-series. All 12 episodes aired on NBC in 1951 and two year's later it's sequel TV movie "I Beheld His Glory" also aired on NBC. After it's original airing, the series remained off of television until the late 1980's when local religious stations began airing the series. TBN aired all twelve episodes throughout the 1990's. The entire series is public domain and has been released numerous times on VHS and DVD. See more »
I was given the two disc set for Christmas and as a Baptist had several doctrinal issues with the first part of the first disc (dealing with Christ's birth and youth). It's got a strong Catholic extra-Bible bent. Some of the omissions bothered me too.
But the events of His adulthood, since they stayed close the spoken words (in modern English, no problem, I'm not a "if the KJV was good enough Paul, it's good enough for me.") of Christ Himself, were a real blessing and helped make the Bible real.
The actors were really quite good for a low-budget project. There's a tendency (even in a large budget, or especially) to go over the top with the acting. Most of them were natural and believable. The man who played Christ was really good and didn't go around with his eyes and arms raised to Heaven constantly. I was actually able to lose myself in the story.
Though he's not given credit, nor even mentioned, Lawrence Dobkin was John the Baptist and was excellent.
Even the actors in the smallest roles were, for the most part, very professional. I didn't feel like I was watching "amateur night".
If you're Catholic or don't mind, the entire series should be all right. Any other denomination, you might, like me, prefer the episodes that take place when Christ was an adult.
Quality of the film itself is a whole 'nother story. It has not been restored in any way and the color has gone somewhat sepia. There's lots of scratches and the soundtrack sometimes has sounds and words that are distorted or lost. The films were undoubtedly played a lot and got pretty wore out. Another poster mentioned them being shown at churches and on TV (I don't recall watching it but I may have as a child). Well, at least they have all the episodes.
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