7.2/10
5,875
67 user 17 critic

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 7 October 1965 (USA)
Trailer
3:27 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Khartoum (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by a British General defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, the Mahdi.

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon
Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
El Cid (1961)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone
Lust for Life (1956)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, George Cukor
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald
The War Lord (1965)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 11th century Normandy, a Norman duke sends one of his knights to build a defensive fortress in order to guard the borders against Frisian raiders.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
Flap (1970)
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Comedy based on the plight of modern Native Americans living on reservations.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Claude Akins, Tony Bill
The Hawaiians (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The intertwined lives of two kindred souls with ambition begins when Captain Whip Hoxworth discovers that Nyuk Tsin has been smuggled aboard as part of cargo on The Carthaginian, which he ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Gries
Stars: Charlton Heston, Tina Chen, Geraldine Chaplin
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Axel Bomasch, inventor of a new type of armor-plating.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid
The Buccaneer (1958)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the war of 1812, Louisiana buccaneer Jean Lafitte assists the Americans in defending New Orleans against the attacking British war fleet.

Director: Anthony Quinn
Stars: Yul Brynner, Claire Bloom, Charles Boyer
Edit

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
Edit

Storyline

Pope Julius is eager to leave behind works by which he will be remembered. To this end he cajoles Michelangelo 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:

From the age of magnificence comes a new magnificence in motion pictures See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

7 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Agony and the Ecstasy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,000,000, 31 December 1965
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

International Classics See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In his published journals, Charlton Heston says that when he was first offered the role of Michelangelo, Fred Zinnemann was attached to direct. See more »

Goofs

As shown in the movie Michelangelo created a flat wooden platform on brackets built out from holes in the wall, high up near the top of the windows. But contrary to the depicted on the film, he did not lie on this scaffolding while he painted, but painted from a standing position. See more »

Quotes

Pope Julius II: What you have painted here, my son, is not a portrait of God. It's a proof of faith.
Michelangelo: I hadn't thought that faith needed proof.
Pope Julius II: Not if you're a saint, or an artist. I am merely a pope.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Purportedly a biography of Michelangelo, it turned out to be that of Pope Julius II
28 January 2005 | by DeusvoltSee all my reviews

The movie is better than the book in the sense that it is kinder to Michelangelo. Remember that in the book there were hints of the artist's latent homosexuality to explain his lack of interest in women. In the movie, this is attributed to his dedication to his artistry. His greatest rival in the arts, Leonardo da Vinci also does not figure in the movie, but to no great loss as his presence would have needlessly complicated the plot.

The movie portrays Pope Julius II, "the warrior Pope" in good light. He took up the sword to finally bring an end to French interference in the papacy (cf. the "Babylonian Captivity" of the papacy in Avignon). And of course, despite the notorious division of Italy into city states, he struggled to free that country from foreign domination while keeping the papal states intact.

Rome is correctly shown as a city in decay during the Middle Ages. It took Julius II to finally build a Basilica worthy to be the focus of world Christianity. His patronage of the arts and of grand architecture enabled Rome to justly keep the title "The Eternal City."

In the end, Julius II may be judged as a competent monarch and in his way, a faithful priest who initiated many reforms to curb corruption among the clergy.

Heston and Harrison, both great actors, brought out the best in one another as they gamely sparred in this immortal film - one as the driven and haunted artist, the other as the saturnine Pope fighting to preserve the temporal power of the papacy against all odds.


36 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 67 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed