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The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

R | | Drama | 9 September 1988 (UK)
Trailer
1:19 | Trailer
The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writers:

Nikos Kazantzakis (novel), Paul Schrader (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,310 ( 243)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Willem Dafoe ... Jesus
Harvey Keitel ... Judas
Paul Greco ... Zealot
Steve Shill ... Centurian (as Steven Shill)
Verna Bloom ... Mary, Mother of Jesus
Barbara Hershey ... Mary Magdalene
Roberts Blossom ... Aged Master
Barry Miller ... Jeroboam
Gary Basaraba ... Andrew, Apostle
Irvin Kershner ... Zebedee
Victor Argo ... Peter, Apostle
Michael Been Michael Been ... John, Apostle
Paul Herman ... Phillip, Apostle
John Lurie ... James, Apostle
Leo Burmester ... Nathaniel, Apostle
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Storyline

The carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth, tormented by the temptations of demons, the guilt of making crosses for the Romans, pity for men and the world, and the constant call of God, sets out to find what God wills for Him. But as His mission nears fulfillment, He must face the greatest temptation; the normal life of a good man. Based, not on the Gospels, but on Nikos Kazantzakis' novel of the same name. Written by Nick Lopez <ntlopez@fas.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 1988 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Passion See more »

Filming Locations:

Ait Benhaddou, Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$401,211, 14 August 1988

Gross USA:

$8,373,585

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,865,702
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers were given such a paltry budget for their controversial project, that many economies had to be improvised. For example, Barbara Hershey (Mary Magdalene) had to continually re-apply her own mendhi tattoos (which kept streaking in the desert heat) because there were not enough makeup artists for everyone. See more »

Goofs

When the first man is being crucified, as he yells when the soldier nails his hand, we can see a lot of metal fillings in his upper teeth. See more »

Quotes

Jesus: I wish there was another way, but there isn't. I have to die on the cross.
Judas: I won't let you die.
Jesus: You don't have a choice. Neither do I. Remember, we're bringing God and man together. They'll never be together unless I die. I'm the sacrifice... Forget everything else, understand that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"This film is not based upon the Gospels but on this fictional exploration of the eternal spiritual conflict." See more »

Alternate Versions

Most DVD and streaming versions are missing Judas's line, "It's Magdalene; she deserves it," right before the attempted stoning scene. The line can be heard on the Criterion Blu-ray. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rabbit-Proof Fence: Cast and Crew Interviews (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

"It is Accomplished!"
24 February 2002 | by cocaine_rodeoSee all my reviews

This is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen! I was amazed with all of the performances. This is certainly one of Martin Scorsese's great accomplishments in his extensive and highly acclaimed carrier. This movie was very important to Scorsese and he would put it off several times because he felt he wasn't ready to do it. I think that the wait was worth it, because this was an outstanding movie.

This is one of those movies that you either really liked, or really didn't like. Most of the people who didn't like this found it to be a mockery of the Gospels and Christ himself. I liked it because it did follow the Bible very closely, it was a fantastic telling of Jesus Christ's last days and his greatest accomplishments, and because the acting was very good.

I thought Willem Defoe was spell binding as Jesus Christ. Some people will say that he wasn't enough like Jesus, but you do have to realize that this is probably the hardest character to play and I think that Defoe did the best job that anyone could have done at playing Christ. Harvey Keitel did an equally excellent job at playing Judas, Jesus's best friend, who eventually betrays Him so the world can be saved. This may be Keitel's best performance (if not, it is one of the three). Barbara Hershey was also a great supporting roll as Mary Magdalene.

This movie is certainly not for everyone. Many people with very strong religious convictions will see this movie as offensive, simply because Christ is portrayed a frightened man who sees his fate as a burdon through 'half' of the film, and I implicate the word 'half' for a reason. For everyone else, I say go rent this, because this is a powerful and magnificent version of the final months of Christ. When you watch this, you just might have to wonder (I know I did), what will be the last temptation of Christ? 10/10


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