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The Silver Chalice (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 20 December 1954 (USA)
Paul Newman - in his screen debut - plays a 1st century Greek sculptor who is sold into slavery.

Director:

Victor Saville

Writers:

Thomas B. Costain (novel), Lesser Samuels (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Virginia Mayo ... Helena
Pier Angeli ... Deborra
Jack Palance ... Simon The Magician
Paul Newman ... Basil
Walter Hampden ... Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph Wiseman ... Mijamin
Alexander Scourby ... Luke
Lorne Greene ... Peter
David J. Stewart ... Adam
Herbert Rudley ... Linus
Jacques Aubuchon ... Nero
E.G. Marshall ... Ignatius
Michael Pate ... Aaron Ben Joseph
Natalie Wood ... Helena as a Girl
Peter Raynolds Peter Raynolds ... Basil as a boy
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Storyline

A Greek artisan is commissioned to cast the cup of Christ in silver, and sculpt around its rim, the faces of the disciples and Jesus. He travels to Jerusalem and eventually to Rome to complete the task. Meanwhile, a nefarious interloper is trying to convince the crowds that he is the new Messiah, by using nothing more than cheap parlor tricks. Written by Dan Weckerly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I bid you seek the lost Silver Cup... for Sin is rising like the swollen rivers... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Young Helena was played by Natalie Wood who records show was approximately 16 at the time of the filming. Young Basil is played by Peter Raynolds who records show was 28 at the time of shooting. See more »

Goofs

The bald eagle is not native to Italy. See more »

Quotes

Kester: There's no place like Rome...
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Paul Newman See more »

Connections

Referenced in James Dean (2001) See more »

User Reviews

underrated epic
8 April 2006 | by prjdeanSee all my reviews

Having read all of the various reviewers'comments, I wonder at all the negative opinions : "The worst film ever made according to Paul Newman and many of his fans" - "a tax write -off along the lines of THE PRODUCERS "- "almost unintentionally bad like an Ed Wood feature". I think none of that is true. Surprisingly I find much of this movie highly entertaining. Paul Newman really need not be ashamed of his debut work - he certainly looks right as Basil and for the most part, he acts the part convincingly - he does especially well in his scenes with Pier Angeli- obviously MGM thought they had real chemistry because they were soon re-teamed in SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME. Jack Palance's over the top Simon the Magician is a great villain - you hate him but love his outlandish behavior that climaxes with his attempt to fly off a giant tower. Virginia Mayo in a badly written part wins your sympathy as the 'bad" girl/courtesan. The stylized sets are often criticized - but it is their very oddness that adds a special,dreamlike quality to many scenes. This was not a cost cutting measure by Warners, as some have suggested. In fact, this film was quite a moneymaker upon its initial release. Perhaps the most successful element of the entire project is Franz Waxman's beautiful, moving music score- one of the best of the period - it holds up to many listens. I think viewers today who see this in pan&scan format can not appreciate its beauty when seen in a theater in Cinemascope & Stereophonic Sound - I saw it on re-release in the 60s and it was impressive( available on a widescreen version great out of print laser disc and recently released on DVD ). Certainly not a great movie , it still has an entertainment value most reviewers are missing.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Silver Chalice See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints)| Mono (RCA Sound System) (optical prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

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