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The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

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The biographical story of Michelangelo's (Charlton Heston's) troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II (Sir Rex Harrison).

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Irving Stone (based on the novel: "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by), Philip Dunne (screen story and screenplay)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Michelangelo
Rex Harrison ... Pope Julius II
Diane Cilento ... Contessina de'Medici
Harry Andrews ... Bramante
Alberto Lupo Alberto Lupo ... Francesco Maria della Rovere, duke of Urbino
Adolfo Celi ... Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici (pope Leo X)
Venantino Venantini ... Paris De Grassis
John Stacy John Stacy ... Sangallo
Fausto Tozzi ... Foreman
Maxine Audley ... Woman
Tomas Milian ... Raphael
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Storyline

Pope Julius II (Sir Rex Harrison) is eager to leave behind works by which he will be remembered. To this end he cajoles Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) into painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When not on the battlefield uniting Italy, the Pope nags Michelangelo to speed up his painful work on the frescoes. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A raging era of titans, popes and princes... of conspiracy and conflict... of turmoil and transgressions... of a man among men... of magnificence! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

16 September 1965 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Agony and the Ecstasy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

International Classics See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Spencer Tracy was offered the role of Pope Julius II. See more »

Goofs

On the eastern wall of the Sistine Chapel, we can see two frescoes that have been painted by Arrigo Paludano in 1571 and Matteo da Lecce, thirty years after Michelangelo completed the Last Judgement (1541). They replaced the first paintings by Signorelli and Ghirlandaio destroyed by a partial collapsing of the wall. Obviously, they couldn't be shown if the action takes place between 1508 and 1512. See more »

Quotes

Contessina de Medici: What can I say? I think there's more love here than could ever exist between a man and a woman. That's what you meant.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Constantine's Sword (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Historical picture about two greatest Renaissance figures : Michelangelo and Julius II
10 May 2005 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The picture deals with Michelangelo or Michael Angel (Charlton Heston) who is working on the Carrara's marble creating sculptures and he is then ordered by Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) the painting of as called Sistina chapel (that's why it was built by Pope Sisto) . Meanwhile , they'll develop various relationships with other Renaissance's important people . The film is correctly based on historical deeds and appearing famous roles , such as : Raphael (Tomas Milian) who shows up painting the ¨Athenas's school¨, Bramante (Harry Andrews) builder of the Vatican dome that hold his name , Girlandaio and the Florencia Medicis 's descendants (Diane Cilento and Adolfo Celi) . Besides , the film paces itself the confrontation between Julius II troops and the French /German army for the possession of the Pope's states . There are epic and impressive battles where the Pope himself fights enemies . The motion picture describes specially the creation of the enormous paintings on the ceiling and the difficulties that Michael Angel is suffering to achieve the immortal legacy . The Pope Julio II also will assign him the realization of his tomb .

The feature obtained a limited success and had a moderated box-office ; however , being nowadays better valued than the past . First-range acting by the two main actors : Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison , both of whom are magnificent . However , Rex Harrison did not get along with Charlton Heston at all during shooting ; in fact , twelve years later, while filming as secondary actors ¨Crossed swords¨ (1997) by Richard Fleischer , Rex avoided him utterly . Leon Shamroy's cinematography is rousing , the colorful paintings are glowing and brilliant ; spectacularly showing Bible's scenes at the Sixtina Chapel . Alex North musical score is riveting (like ¨Spartacus¨ who he equally composed). The sets are overwhelming and breathtaking , they were stunningly realized by production designer John De Cuir . In addition , evocative as well as adequate costumes by Oscarized Vittorio Nino Novarese . Carol Reed production and direction were excellent , he has got many experience in a long career and had directed other classic movies (The third man) . Rating: Very good , above average and well worth seeing.


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