Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after twenty years as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Father David Telemond, a troubled young priest who befriends ... See full summary »
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
Managed to catch this film at a neighborhood theater after its first-run release and, even then, was quite stupefied by its extremely odd brew of elements: some fairly good acting (though it's no wonder Paul Newman disowned it at the time and has probably paid to have it permanently suppressed...It hasn't been scheduled on American Movie Classics, for instance, in years!); some elaborate-looking, old-timey costumes clashing with Rolf Gerard's massive sets (He was apparently told to give them a "modern" look.); the great set piece of the magician, Simon (lovingly hammed by Jack Palance), "flying" off the top of a skyscraping tower; a blonde Natalie Wood (Who thought she looked good THAT way?!?); and one of Franz Waxman's sweeping orchestral scores, taking advantage of the stereophonic sound system used for the magnetic prints. Unless A.M.C. decides to show this letter-boxed again (something they now almost never do anymore with the widescreen films they schedule...Fie on them!), the imaginative use of CinemaScope by director Victor Saville and his cinematographer, William V. Skall, will be lost to cinema-viewing antiquity. (No doubt the VHS tape is, shudder!, "formatted.")
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