Lots of speculation on the very early life of Christ
This movie in it's many manifestations can be a true source of confusion. The version reviewed here, part one only, is the one most often shown on Univision, and only on Christmas. At other times during the same holiday, or Easter, parts one and two are shown, sometimes not on the same night. On Easter there is also broadcast "just" part two with about 20 minutes of part one incorporated. Part 2, of course, focuses on the adult life of Jesus and includes Carlos East playing Herod Antipas(the son of Herod the Great). Briefly, the second part lacks in continuity as miracles are often strung together without any connecting storyline. The "John the Baptist beheading scene" is probably the goriest of any other treatment, and in the "overturning of tables scene", Jesus is at his most violent. Other than the aforementioned, it is good overall.If there was an award for movies shown on broadcast TV on an annual basis for the most consecutive years, this motion picture would no doubt win it. Other contenders would be "The Ten Commandments(1956)", "The Greatest Story Ever Told(1965)", and another great film that Univision used to show but unfortunately dropped- "La Virgen de Guadalupe(1976)" with Fernando Allende giving an excellent performance as Juan Diego. Univision should be awarded themselves for their loyalty to "La Vida de Nuestro Señor Jesu Cristo". It is unlike most if not all movies dealing with Jesus Christ in that it only focuses on his childhood, in which historically of course little is known. Miracles are not in short supply and a touching scene involves the youthful Jesus restoring life to a bird. Among many speculations given is that at some points even his boyhood acquaintances may have turned against him. The cast is not an all star one as with many other religious pictures, although you do get popular action star Jorge Rivero and Carlos East, the latter best known among horror film fans for his work with Boris Karloff in "La Muerte Viviente(1968)". Rivero is one of the few Mexican stars, along with Antonio Aguilar and Pedro Armendariz, to have co-starred with John Wayne. It is a coincidence here, because in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" Wayne plays a Roman centurion, and in "La Vida de Nuestro Señor Jesu Cristo" Jorge takes on the part as well! For those unfamiliar with the Mexican superstar, some of his more popular films include: "Goma 2(1984)", "Fist Fighter(1989)", and the many times shown on broadcast TV "Rio de la Muerte(1977)". So this role is certainly a departure for him and he does a good job with it. He at first is an enemy for the young Jesus, but after witnessing plants blooming where there were no plants and a drink of water produced for him when there was no water, the centurion is soon aware that he is in the presence of the greatest life ever to be lived. The rest of the cast all are engaging and it is a movie worth watching repeatedly.
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