MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 989 this week

The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  18 March 2004 (Singapore)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,920 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 73 user | 25 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

The story of Jesus' life as told by the apostle John, narrated by Christopher Plummer.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 19 Nov 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 18 Jan 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 19 Nov 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 22 Feb 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 14 Mar 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John (2003)

The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John (2003) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John.

User Polls

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A reverent depiction of the life of Christ using the Gospel accounts.

Stars: Robert Powell, Olivia Hussey, Laurence Olivier
Frank vs. God (2014)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After his house is destroyed by a tornado (what his insurance company deems an "act of God"), former hotshot lawyer David Frank is determined that someone must pay. He decides to serve God...with a lawsuit.

Director: Stewart Schill
Stars: Henry Ian Cusick, Ever Carradine, Natalya Oliver
Son of God (TV Series 2001)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An attempt to explain how historically accurate is the biblical life of Jesus of Nazareth, using the latest historical, archaeological, and astronomical research.

Stars: Jeremy Bowen, Liron Levo
St. Paul (TV Movie 2000)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Biblical epic from the book of Acts and Paul's epistles covering the conversion of Saul of Tarsus and his ministry to the Gentiles now known as Paul. Pursued by fellow Jew, Reuben, who ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Young
Stars: Johannes Brandrup, Thomas Lockyer, Barbora Bobulova
Abraham (TV Movie 1993)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Old Testament story of Abraham and the trials he endures. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Richard Harris, Barbara Hershey, Maximilian Schell
Jesus (TV Movie 1999)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A movie about the life, work and death of Jesus as we know it from the Bible.

Director: Roger Young
Stars: Jeremy Sisto, Debra Messing, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three days before his execution, the elderly Apostle Peter tells his jailer about his time with Jesus.

Director: Gabriel Sabloff
Stars: Robert Loggia, Bruce Marchiano, Laurence Fuller
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An all-enveloping darkness. Suddenly, a child's voice, frightened, questioning, pierces the darkness... The first flickering rays of light begin to sculpt mysterious shapes out of the ... See full summary »

Director: Ermanno Olmi
Stars: Annabi Abdelialil, Omero Antonutti, Sabir Aziz
Joseph in Egypt (TV Movie 1995)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Biblical story of Joseph, who was sold to slavery by his brothers who were jealous of his prophetic abilities to analyze dreams and of his being their fathers' favorite.

Director: Roger Young
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Paul Mercurio, Martin Landau
David (TV Movie 1997)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The tribes of Israel need to defeat the superior might of the Philistines: "Now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (I Samuel, 8:5). And so the prophet Samuel ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Markowitz
Stars: Nathaniel Parker, Jonathan Pryce, Leonard Nimoy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Four writers. Four narratives. One life. For the first time in film history the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have been reconstructed in four feature length, documentary-style ... See full summary »

Director: David Batty
Stars: Selva Rasalingam, Karima Gouit, Ramdane Aala
Director: David Batty
Stars: Selva Rasalingam, Karima Gouit, Ramdane Aala
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (voice)
...
...
Daniel Kash ...
Stephen Russell ...
...
Diana Berriman ...
...
Leading Pharisee
...
Lynsey Baxter ...
Diego Matamoros ...
Nancy Palk ...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

The story of Jesus' life as told by the apostle John, narrated by Christopher Plummer.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For God loved the world So much...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence involving the crucifixion | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 2004 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

The Gospel of John  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$98,363 (USA) (26 September 2003)

Gross:

$4,068,087 (USA) (9 April 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast was selected primarily from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Soulpepper Theatre Company, as well as Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre. See more »

Quotes

Jesus Christ: I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live even though he dies and he who lives and believes in me will never die.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Passion of the Christ (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Nivatismos
from "Secular Music of Greek Antiquity, Vol. 2"
Research, musical reconstruction and orchestration by Petros Tabouris
Produced by FM Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

In the beginning was the Word
24 January 2004 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

There are four gospels in the New Testament. Matthew, Mark and Luke are referred to as the `synoptic' gospels. They see Jesus `with the same eye'. Their `eyewitness accounts' are remarkably alike. John is startlingly different in its details, style and tone -- so much so, that this gospel almost didn't make it into the accepted canon of New Testament books.

`The Gospel of John' purports to be a faithful retelling of the fourth gospel. It employs every single word of the text, as rendered by the Good News Bible translation. The film combines dialogue with narration by veteran actor Christopher Plummer. The result is an understandably wordy script. One of my friends used the term `verbose'.

Was it wise or foolish to adopt this approach? That depends on your point of view. It means that the actor playing Jesus must deliver lengthy speeches, especially Jesus' farewell after the Last Supper. This runs the risk of being a deadly bore in cinematic terms. I must confess, I kept nodding off during this segment of the film. To his credit, the director tries to compensate by cutting away to a montage of black-and-white flashback images suggested by Jesus' words. This gives the audience a much-needed visual breather.

On the other hand, and this is a good thing, using the integral text of John's gospel obliges us truly to listen -- to hear the Word. I lost track of how often Jesus said, `I am telling you the truth.' Some might find this annoyingly repetitive. But it certainly hammers home the theme of John's gospel. As if in counterpoint to Pilate's cynical barb, `What is truth?' we have Jesus' ringing declaration, `I am the Truth!' (This is often obscured by older translations, such as `Amen, amen, I say to you'.)

I found `The Gospel of John' highly instructive, not just for what it says, but what is does not say. I realized, for the first time, why John recounts events absent from Matthew, Mark and Luke, while ignoring those familiar to us from their accounts. It struck me that the author of the fourth gospel assumes we are already conversant with all this material. For instance, John does not describe the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, yet abounds in references to bread and wine. Again, John does not tell us what became of John the Baptist (he was beheaded by Herod) or Judas the traitor (he hanged himself). John takes it for granted that we know.

I also realized how often Jesus says, `I am who I am' (three times) and finally, `Before Abraham was, I am.' Jesus applies to Himself the phrase used by Yahweh in the Old Testament as His name. In other words, in John's gospel, Jesus clearly equates Himself with God (`The Father and I are one').

As represented in this film, Jesus is thoroughly human in that He suffers and dies. Yet He also radiates the power of divinity -- not so much in the form of miracles, as in a sense of righteousness, a certainty about His mission. Even Jesus' outrage at the commercialization of Temple worship seems more like the fulmination of an exasperated Old Testament God. We do not see Jesus tempted by Satan or agonizing in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knows exactly who He is and what He is doing, even though His followers may not.

The real `stars' of the film are Jesus' opponents, `the Jewish authorities' (Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes) and their hapless instrument, Pontius Pilate. The apostles, on the other hand, are curiously lifeless in this film rendering of John's gospel. Even Judas is given little in the way of motivation. John's explanation is that he was a thief who pilfered the apostles' common purse and sold His master out of simple greed. This explanation may have been enough for the evangelist, but it is far from satisfying in literary or cinematic terms.

The film portrays Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a woman of mature years. Her visual representation comes as something of a shock, compared to Olivia Hussey's incarnation of the Virgin in `Jesus of Nazareth'. I was reminded of Michelangelo's Pietà. Someone pointed out to the sculptor that the mother looked strangely younger than the son. Michelangelo replied that, since the Virgin had been pure and sinless, he could not imagine her aging and decaying. Jesus' mother in `The Gospel of John' thus runs counter to a certain iconographic tradition.

The other women in this film, as in John's gospel, get short shrift. We barely get any sense of Mary Magdalen, or Mary and Martha of Bethany. The most fully developed female character is the Samaritan at the well, played by an actress whose face and voice deliver exactly the right note of hard-bitten cynicism. One only wishes she were not so wild-eyed once she realizes she is speaking to the promised Messiah.

The same excessive theatricality is found in John the Baptist, Nathanael (whom Jesus saw beneath the fig tree before meeting him) and doubting Thomas (whose exclamation, `My Lord and my God!' rings hollow).

A film such as `The Gospel of John' cannot be judged entirely according to the usual canons of cinematic art. In other words, we cannot judge `The Gospel of John' simply on the basis of artistic merit or entertainment value. Ultimately, we must ask: Is the film theologically sound? Does it succeed in conveying the gospel message? How do we, the audience, respond to that message and especially the messenger, Jesus Himself?

In the final analysis -- and this is a question all filmgoers must answer for themselves -- would we heed the Jesus of `The Gospel of John' when He invites us to `Follow me'?


44 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why does the DVD cost so much??? woodsm55
gospel of john dkash-1
Crucifixion gore z_crooks
Whole Series irandell
The Attention is at the "Passion" boards manicsounds
Ratings System exnzz

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?