4.6/10
1,216
49 user 15 critic

The Silver Chalice (1954)

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 ... See full summary »

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 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:

EVERY BREATHLESS MOMENT OF THOMAS B. COSTAIN'S BEST-SELLER! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Basilus - Held von Rom See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film ran on television in 1966, Paul Newman took out ads in the Hollywood trade papers, calling it "the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s", apologizing for his performance, and asking people not to watch the film. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect, and many people tuned in to watch it on television. Newman once screened the movie for friends at his house, giving them whistles, pots, and wooden spoons, and encouraging them to make noisy critiques of the film. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Saint Peter: [last lines, Peter is speaking about the Silver Chalice to Basil and Deborra, and he utters his lines in the tone of a heroic speech] It will be restored, but for years and for hundreds of years, it will lie in darkness; where, I know not. When it is brought out into the light again there will be great cities, and mighty bridges and towers higher than the tower of Babel. It will be a world of evil and long bitter wars. In such a world as that the little cup will look very lonely. But it may be ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Paul Newman See more »

Connections

Referenced in James Dean (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Art deco sets...and young Paul Newman...
9 August 2011 | by MarieGabrielleSee all my reviews

This film is certainly an oddity but deserves some mention for the actors involved, and especially Jack Palance as "Simon the Magician".

I too remember watching this around Easter at around age 10, it could be an interesting film for children who don't understand the historical issues of Emperor Nero,the Romans and conflicts of Christianity etc.

As another reviewer mentioned, it is odd with unusual sets. Virginia Mayo, however, looks lovely as always, even with some over the top eyebrow makeup and gold eyeshadow.

Paul Newman is a slave who must craft a special chalice for Jesus. Mayo, as royalty attempts to rescue him from his chains. Simon the Magician entertains Caesar but loses his mind in the end, building a special tower and wings to prove to Caesar that he can fly. He is just as much a God as any other, he proclaims.

The film is theater and a bit campy as you get older but worth watching as a curiosity. 6/10


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