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Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 14 November 1999
A believable telling of the life of Mary, the chosen by God, mother of Christ. The story follows Mary before conception, at the revealing of the impending birth by the angel Gabrie, and ... See full summary »


Kevin Connor


Albert Ross

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Jesus of Nazareth
Pernilla August ... Mary of Nazareth
Melinda Kinnaman ... Young Mary
David Threlfall ... Joseph of Nazareth
Simone Bendix Simone Bendix ... Mary Magdalene
John Shrapnel ... Simon
Edward Hardwicke ... Zachariah
Hywel Bennett ... Herod
Geraldine Chaplin ... Elizabeth
Toby Bailiff Toby Bailiff ... Young Jesus
Michael Mears Michael Mears ... John
Mark Jax Mark Jax ... Peter
Anna Mathias ... Anne
Robert Addie ... Pontius Pilate
Crispian Belfrage ... James the Great


A believable telling of the life of Mary, the chosen by God, mother of Christ. The story follows Mary before conception, at the revealing of the impending birth by the angel Gabrie, and finally the birth of the Savior. Written by msbavette

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


See Him Through Different Eyes




PG-13 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mary & Jesus See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(3 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Madonna was originally going to play Mary but dropped out three weeks before the first rehearsal. See more »


Followed by Barabbas (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Good intentions, but only so-so
19 November 1999 | by Tin Man-5See all my reviews

"Mary, Mother of Jesus" is a TV-attempt that features actors so sincere and so powerfully moving that you almost wish that the movie would just get out of their way and let them act in the way they all know they can!

Telling the life of Jesus (Christian Bale) through the eyes of Mary (played by Anakin Skywalker's mom in "Episode One," by the way), the film in itself is very fast-moving and very paper-thin. Unless the viewer is familiar with the biblical depiction of Christ, he or she will be unutterably lost in this account, since the scenes move so fast and it never leaves the watcher any time to really grasp what's going on. Jesus doesn't even begin his ministry until the last hour, and then, we barely get a look at his disciples and miracles before he is arrested and crucified. And his resurrection is so underplayed, it could have easily been straight from a bad episode of "Touched By An Angel." I don't know....As a Christian, I just feel thst my Savior deserves more than this.... The idea of the emphasis switching to Mary is nice, but couldn't they have stretched this out to a miniseries to make it a little more coherent?

The film effectiveness, however, lies in the cast. Christian Bale is convincing as Christ, bravely presenting him as a Divine figure with love for everyone. He also presents a human side as well, emphasizing on his need to talk to God and his desire to be with his mother even though he knows he cannot. Bale has always been an underrated actor in my book, and his performance here is very nice, though rather underplayed, since he has little to work with. It would have been nicer to see more emphasis on Jesus in this....but nay, it isn't to be: This is a movie about Mary.

Ah, Mary. Pernilla August is very nice as Mary as well, though a little innacurate. Due to the status of women back in the days of Christ, I doubt that she was such a daring revolutionary, and if she was, she wouldn't have strutted the fact around so much. I think she was just a normal, common girl who didn't seem worthy of God's selection....In this film, her assertiveness makes her the perfect, most likely choice. I would have rather seen played it the other way....It would have made a more interesting movie with her doubting herself, and then Jesus filling her, his own mother, with hope and he filled others with hope. But, once again, not enough time to establish this, and the lack of characterization bogs the film down....especially with an actress so promising for the part.

Is it worth watching? For the performances, yes. However, as far as true emotion and power of the story goes, the viewer is better-off watching "Jesus of Nazareth."

**1/2 out of ****

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