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King of Kings (1961)

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The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writer:

Philip Yordan (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Hunter ... Jesus
Siobhan McKenna ... Mary
Hurd Hatfield ... Pontius Pilate
Ron Randell ... Lucius
Viveca Lindfors ... Claudia
Rita Gam ... Herodias
Carmen Sevilla ... Mary Magdalene
Brigid Bazlen ... Salome
Harry Guardino ... Barabbas
Rip Torn ... Judas
Frank Thring ... Herod Antipas
Guy Rolfe ... Caiaphas
Royal Dano ... Peter
Robert Ryan ... John The Baptist
Edric Connor Edric Connor ... Balthazar
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Storyline

The story of the life of Jesus Christ from his birth in Bethlehem to his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. Filmed on a relatively grand scale, the film includes all of the major events referred to in the New Testament; his baptism by John the Baptist; the miracles - cripples walking, blind men seeing; the fishes and the loaves; and so on. The film actually begins with the Roman invasion by Pompey in 65 B.C., the appointment of King Herod the Great by the Romans and finally the crowning of Herod Antipas after he murders his father. The revolt led by Barrabas is also included and John the Baptist's beheading as Salome's price for dancing for Herod. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most exciting human drama the screen has ever told. A story of the Christ, His life, His deeds, the inspiration of His spoken words. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Samuel Bronston's Production King of Kings See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,037,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,483,352

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,000,000, 31 January 1989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several scenes were directed without credit by Charles Walters. See more »

Goofs

When the Jews are storming the fortress, several are scaling a tower towards some Roman soldiers who fire arrows down at them. The arrow of the soldier on the left flies backwards out of his hands and he bends over to retrieve it. See more »

Quotes

Jesus: [during the Last Supper, Jesus catches a bread pronounces the blessing, he breaks him and he gives him to the disciples] Blessed you are you, oh Master, Our King of the Universe that gives us the bread, fruit of the Earth. Take, eat, therefore this is my body that will be given by you, do this in my memory.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Manila in the Claws of Light (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Well Crafted Spectacle
24 December 2006 | by haridam0See all my reviews

MGM must be credited with bankrolling this expensive project. True, their objectives were probably mercenary, hoping to cash in on their earlier commercial success, "Ben Hur." Still, the big studio can't be faulted for choosing Nicholas Ray to head their massive enterprise. Ray's work's always worth watching, and here he proves he can lead a gigantic spectacle to impressive heights.

Miklos Rozsa's "inspirational" score is notable for its prominent use of voices and thematic motifs. Philip Yordan and his writing colleagues fashion a respectable script.

Orson Welles manages to subdue his often florid histrionic tendencies to render outstanding narration.

Further credit to MGM for engaging a more than decent cast of solid professionals, headed by Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield, Viveca Lindfors, Rip Torn and Robert Ryan.

Kudos to the second unit and art direction, and to the fine photography and striking costumes.

Jeffery Hunter must be given credit for taking on an impossible role and coming out not too badly.

As for the validity of its historicity, that may be an entirely different matter, and each viewer must draw his and her own conclusions on this. With a story as old as the hills, there isn't much room left for many fresh insights, and what gives this interest is the big studio that mounts this ancient tale.

In this case, MGM and crew made a pretty good show.


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