Norman Eshley is the voice of Joseph. Robert Rietty is the voice of the rich man who is told by Jesus to sell his wealth, one of the shepherds, a Roman soldier, the head of the census, the blind man healed in the temple, and the messenger who talks about Lazarus. See more »
Pilate asks Jesus if he is a king. Jesus responds, "I am," but his lips say something else. See more »
The Region 1 DVD is the original 1977 broadcast. The Region 2 Carlton DVD released in the UK is substantially cut and runs at 270 minutes. The Dutch DVD release (also Carlton Region 2) has a running time of 365 minutes (the 399 minute running time stated on the cover is a misprint). See more »
Over the years, numerous attempts have been made to transfer the life of Christ to the screen, and one that succeeds is Franco Zefirelli's JESUS OF NAZARETH. The story is a straighforward retelling of the synoptic gospels(Matthew, Mark, and Luke), starting with the divine revelations to Mary and Joseph of their roles as Jesus's earthly parents on the the Resurrection. The score is beautific and reverent, and the big name actors who populate the film are well-cast(no Shelley Winters or John Wayne, thankfully). Also, British actor Robert Powell gives Jesus the proper reverence and poise. Zefirelli was correct to cast him; with his angular features, wavy brown hair and light eyes, this Jesus looks like every church icon and Sunday School picture I've ever seen, something Zefirelli was aware of and used to great effect. While he passes on accuracy for effect with Jesus, the apostles, it must be noted, all resemble the Hebrew peasants, publicans, and sinners they most certainly were. The length is tolerable, primarily because Zefirelli doesn't waste film on needless, arty panoramas or slow-moving dialogue. Zefirelli does keep the action moving, but one annoying technique he employs is the now dated-looking zoom close-up, but this happens infrequently. Highly recommended.
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