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The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)

Il vangelo secondo Matteo (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 3 March 1965 (France)
The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Enrique Irazoqui Enrique Irazoqui ... Cristo
Margherita Caruso Margherita Caruso ... Maria (giovane)
Susanna Pasolini Susanna Pasolini ... Maria (vecchia)
Marcello Morante Marcello Morante ... Giuseppe
Mario Socrate Mario Socrate ... Giovanni Battista
Settimio Di Porto Settimio Di Porto ... Pietro
Alfonso Gatto Alfonso Gatto ... Andrea
Luigi Barbini Luigi Barbini ... Giacomo
Giacomo Morante Giacomo Morante ... Giovanni
Giorgio Agamben Giorgio Agamben ... Filippo
Guido Cerretani Guido Cerretani ... Bartolomeo
Rosario Migale Rosario Migale ... Tommaso
Ferruccio Nuzzo Ferruccio Nuzzo ... Matteo
Marcello Galdini Marcello Galdini ... Giacomo figlio di Alfeo
Elio Spaziani Elio Spaziani ... Taddeo
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Storyline

Along a rocky, barren coastline, Jesus begins teaching, primarily using parables. He attracts disciples; he's stern, brusque, and demanding. He comes to bring a sword, not peace, he says. He's in a hurry, moving from place to place near the Sea of Galilee, sometimes attracting a multitude, sometimes being driven away. His parables often take on the powers that be, so he and his teachings come to the attention of the Pharisees, the chief priests, and elders. They conspire to have him arrested, beaten, tried, and crucified, just as he prophesied to his followers. After he dies, he appears to his disciples and gives them final instructions. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Motion Picture which will be seen by the entire world - up to the end of the world!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

3 March 1965 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gospel According to St. Matthew See more »

Filming Locations:

Apulia, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,041
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Vatican in the "religion" category of its list of 45 "great films." See more »

Goofs

When they are taking Christ down from the cross, in the distance you can see a car driving around a corner. See more »

Quotes

Christ: Many are called, but few are chosen.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2007 DVD release features a colorized, English-dubbed version with a run time of 91 minutes and an Italian-language black and white version running 136 minutes. See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une vague nouvelle (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto for violin and oboe in d minor (BWV 1060)
nr 2: Adagio
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For what it is, it's flawless, deep, serious, and beautiful...remarkable!!
9 September 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)

This is such a stately, respectful, yet contemporary (and dare I say, Italian) production, in quiet black and white, it's hard to find fault with it. In some ways, I think it does exactly what it intends. It mixes long shots with close ups. It moves with clarity and sharp (no dissolve) cuts from face to face. It uses African-American gospel and Bach. It depends on solemnity, and it uses actors that have the faces, and demeanors, to be utterly solemn and strong.

All the actors are amateurs. Pasolini was an atheist. The triumph at the end is a matter of record. It's all here.

The question might be (for some) whether it is nevertheless a movie you want to watch. And I say, absolutely. You do have to like, or learn to like, movies that are about quiet ambiance, about passive expressions that say more than intense extroverted acting. The black and white photography, something of a throwback during this early 1960s production, gives it even more of the timeless, almost melancholy depth that keeps it going, owing something to the Dreyer's Joan of Arc, I think.

It's important to know this is not really an interpretation of the gospel, but a reading of it. The filming of course required actors, but it tries to be factually straight forward. That's incredibly hard to pull off without arrogance or religiosity. But Pasolini does it. The down side to this is that it's slow, or even (no sacrilege here), boring. I mean, I read the book.

For me, what makes it terrific is not only how it is filmed (the camera-work and editing) and the faces (all those faces, with the camera still and focused on them), but the sense of reality here. The holiness is removed, but not the sacred seriousness. It makes it seem possible in a very real way. The people, the places, all of it is not historic, not in particular, but the effect, the mood, the force of it all is profound. Even for a non-believer. It's quite something to get swept into.


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