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The King of Kings (1927)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 2004 (USA)
Jesus Christ faces religious and political oppression during his ministry and in the days before his death and resurrection.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writer:

Jeanie Macpherson (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
H.B. Warner ... Jesus - the Christ
Dorothy Cumming ... Mary - the Mother
Ernest Torrence ... Peter
Joseph Schildkraut ... Judas Iscariot
James Neill ... James - Brother of John
Joseph Striker ... John - the Beloved
Robert Edeson ... Matthew - the Publican
Sidney D'Albrook Sidney D'Albrook ... Thomas, the Doubter
David Imboden David Imboden ... Andrew - a Fisherman
Charles Belcher Charles Belcher ... Philip
Clayton Packard Clayton Packard ... Bartholomew
Robert Ellsworth Robert Ellsworth ... Simon - the Zealot
Charles Requa Charles Requa ... James the Lesser
John T. Prince ... Thaddeus
Jacqueline Logan ... Mary Magdalene
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Storyline

Mary Magdalene becomes angry when Judas, now a follower of Jesus, won't come to her feast. She goes to see Jesus and becomes repentant. From there the Bible story unfolds through the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Not Since Motion Pictures Began Has Its Equal Been Produced! Not So Long as Pictures Endure Will There Be a Greater Triumph! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After viewing the film, author John Steinbeck was said to have remarked, "saw the picture, loved the book." See more »

Goofs

In the first scene in Mary Magdalene's house, studio lights are reflected in a large hand-held mirror. See more »

Quotes

Rich Judeaean: Mary, if thou wilt give thy kisses to a beast - why not to me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the original premiere version, there is no 'THE END' title. The film fades to black after the final scene of Jesus looming over a modern city with the title 'LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS' superimposed. See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film was cut from 155 minutes to 112, two main sequences were deleted. In one, Judas tries to heal a lunatic boy but fails and Jesus has to do the job, telling him he failed because of his unbelief. In the other, Jesus is asked by tax collectors if he has anything to say about tax. He responds by getting Peter to catch a fish: in its mouth is a coin, which he hands over, saying that as it bears a portrait of Caesar, it should be given unto Caesar: give unto God that which is God's. In addition, shorter sequences where Peter denies knowing Jesus have gone, along with the scourging of Christ, one where the Virgin Mary comforts the mother of one of the men crucified alongside her own son, and many of the details of the final scene where Christ farewells his disciples. See more »

Connections

Version of Jésus (1999) See more »

User Reviews

Creative, Interesting, & Still Well Worth Seeing
6 January 2003 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This Cecil B. DeMille silent classic is still well worth seeing. It is creative and interesting, while remaining respectful to its subject, and thus it is among the best of the many movies made about Jesus. Unlike most directors (especially today), DeMille did not think that he was bigger than his subject, and thus he uses his skills to illustrate the well-known story and to make it memorable, rather than expending time and energy in trying to push some trivial perspective of his own. He makes it lavish when it should be lavish, and keeps it simple when it should be simple.

The opening scene, with Mary Magdalene and her admirers hearing bits of news regarding Jesus and Judas Iscariot, is a good introduction to the rest of the story, and also sets the tone for what follows. While it is a fictionalized scene not found in the Bible, it seems natural and works well. The rest of the movie likewise does not always follow the biblical narratives exactly, but the added material is always in keeping with the main themes. The cast is pretty good, although given the nature of the story, most of them have limited screen time. H.B. Warner looks just a little too old to be fully convincing as Jesus, but otherwise he is good enough in a difficult role. Probably the best performance is given by Joseph Schildkraut as Judas. He is quite believable, and is especially good in the Last Supper scene. His father Rudolph is also good in a smaller role as the high priest Caiaphas.

With the vast number of movies that are always being made about religious subjects, no doubt it will only be silent movie fans who will seek out this version of "The King of Kings", but that's unfortunate because it is nicely made and has many positives that make it worth seeing.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The King of Kings See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1931 re-release) | (DVD) (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System) (1931 reissue)| Silent | Silent (RCA Photophone System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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