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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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While scouting locations for his classic "The Gospel According to St. Matthew", director Pier Paolo Pasolini noticed that filming in the actual site of the story, in Palestine, wouldn't be ... See full summary »

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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>

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film had no script. 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: Capharnaum, do you hope to be lifted to heaven? You shall fall low as hell.
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

Version of The Jesus Film (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Fuga (Ricercata) a 6, Nr. 2
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
(arr. Anton Webern (as Anton von Webern))
from "Das Musikalische Opfer", BWV 1079
See more »

User Reviews

 
Minimal Yet Effective Drama of Jesus's Life
2 October 2016 | by GraybellSee all my reviews

Rendering Bible stories into film is a difficult task, but Pasolini's account of Matthew's Gospel is among the most successful. The narration of events in the Bible is generally quite sparse, with only the most salient details given; as a result, events are fraught with hidden depths and profundity. Medieval art gives a similar effect, using completely different techniques. Filmmakers of the Bible generally attempt to flesh out the stories to make them more "real," but the result is inevitably banal and overwrought at the same time. Pasolini uses a different approach. First of all, he adds almost nothing to the text of Matthew's Gospel, and all the dialogue and events are directly from Matthew. Next, it's filmed in black & white, and the acting, especially Jesus, is consistently understated. Many quiet shots of faces watching, reacting, or, in the case of Jesus, talking. In these ways, Pasolini succeeds, to some degree, in reproducing the effect of depth and transcendence found in the Bible. The music (from Bach, Blind Willie Johnson, and others) adds considerably to the power of the movie.

Pasolini's minimalist Jesus has an air of both humility and loftiness (as befitting one able to walk on water), but he is conspicuously lacking in emotion and expression. One might reply that Jesus (as God) doesn't share all our roller coaster emotions, but I see the New Testament Jesus as more of a Hamlet character, full of contradictory emotions. Pasolini's Jesus character's foreboding presentation could almost be seen as that of a young, conceited, dour, nihilistic Sophomore Philosophy student. A few quibbles: the Bible text describes large crowds of people following Jesus, but the movie only allows for a couple of dozen in most scenes. Also, in the movie, Jesus is often represented as preaching while he is walking, with his back turned away from his followers, who walk behind him. Finally, Mary the mother of Jesus is at most 20 when he is born, but she somehow becomes 70 years old during his ministry, when in fact she would have been only 50. With these reservations, then, I consider this the most successful Bible film I've seen.


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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