A definitive ranking of the best films about Jesus at Easter
It’s that time of year when we’re bloated with cheap chocolate and bored with our own families, and we slouch in front of the television after a couple of days of moaning, “It’s a pity we didn’t take advantage of the beautiful weather.” Thus it came to happen that you would see films about Jesus Christ during the Easter season. The big JC has been the subject of several truly enjoyable films over the years, no matter what your religious beliefs are or whether you prefer George Michael’s religious beliefs to Cliff Richard’s religious beliefs.
These films may not be as fantastic as Breaking Bad or The Wire, but they are far better than Homes Under the Hammer, and there is no more fair way to put it.
Featuring non-professional actors and locals, including Spanish student Enrique Irazoqui as Jesus, truck driver Otelli Sestili as Judas, and the director’s own mother as the older Mary, this majestic and challenging Pier Paolo Pasolini film, shot in three villages in the impoverished southern Italian region of Basilicata, is a masterpiece of cinematic achievement.
- Sunday night alone is preferable than a long afternoon with other chatterbox family members for this particular activity.
- An instant mark is left on the spectator by the openly political emphasis, much like a bruise that must be pressed in order to feel the agony.
- Ironically, it is not preachy in any way.
- ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ they say (1973) Or, as my daughter referred to it, the Jesus Christ Superstore, which is a fascinating concept to consider.
Judas, the Big Man’s misunderstood best friend, is portrayed primarily through the eyes of Judas, who sings scripture and some of his own best work (such as “To conquer death you only have to die”) alongside hilarious early 1970s theatre-type grooviness: “What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happenin'” and “One thing I’ll say for him, Jesus is cool.” It’s visually stunning, thanks to the fact that it was shot on location in Israel, and there are some somber elements, such as the use of fighter aircraft and tanks to represent avenging angels of the Lord.
- The most transportable song in the soundtrack, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” is performed by a young Andrew Lloyd Webber, and there are lots of other musical moments of true vitality in between the sniggering.
- At supper, you can talk about the mint sauce.
- The Third and Final Temptation of Christ (1988) As promoted (and prohibited), it was not only an investigation of Christ’s humanity via hypotheses about what would have occurred if he had refused his mission and continued to live a normal life.
- In the same way that Harvey Keitel was destined to portray Judas, David Bowie has given his name to a long series of quirky Pontius Pilates characters.
- The film is based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis.
- The Greatest Story Ever Told is the fourth installment in the series (1965) A big film in every sense of the word, but also one that is rather seductive.
- This is a gloomy, brooding Gospel narrative, lead by Max Von Sydow, who, despite his flawlessly planned haircut, is unable to bring his typical brilliance to the character of Jesus.
Although Donald Pleasance stars as Satan as a cunning old man, the supporting cast is almost as impressive, including Charlton Heston, Telly Savalas, Sidney Poitier and Claude Rains, as well as what may be the most ridiculous cameo in the history of cinema: John Wayne standing in the rain at the Crucifixion and proclaiming “Truly, this man was the Son of God” as if he’d just shot up a saloon.
The Top 5 Portrayals of Jesus in Movies
As we approach Easter, we are presented with the mystery of Jesus for the second time. How was it possible for God to leave his celestial seat and take on the form of a man? How might one person’s life atone for the sins of the entire world? Attempting to comprehend the character of Christ is a never-ending endeavor, but this hasn’t stopped performers from portraying him throughout history. The five performances listed below stand out because they attempted to represent Christ’s time on earth in significant ways that would communicate to the audience as well as the audience itself.
Here are the top 5 cinematic representations of Jesus, in order of importance:
1. Henry Ian Cusick –The Gospel of John
The Gospel of John is a 2003 film that tells the story of Jesus’ life as it is recounted in the Gospel of John, which was released in 2003. It is a motion picture that has been adapted word-for-word from the Good News Bible published by the American Bible Society for use on the big screen. It is important to note that this three-hour epic feature film follows John’s Gospel perfectly, with no modifications to the plot from other Gospels and no deletion of complicated parts from the Bible. In spite of the fact that Cusick is not the most captivating Jesus in movie history, he earns a place on our list for two reasons.
Actors sometimes find it difficult to maintain such a high degree of biblical dedication, and Cusick deserves praise for turning in a strong portrayal despite working under such strict rules.
2. Diogo Morgado–Son of God
A big biblical drama film directed by Christopher Spencer, Son of God was released in 2014 in the United States. The film chronicles the account of Jesus’ life and is an adaptation of the ten-hour miniseries The Bible, which aired on the History channel in March 2013. Morgado’s distracting appearance, dubbed “the Hot Jesus” by the mass media, prevented him from progressing past the fourth position on this list. Nonetheless, of of all of the submitted submissions, theSon of Godactor is the one who most expresses the all-consuming love of Jesus Christ.
Morgado, on the other hand, glows with all the pleasure and kindness of a shepherd rescuing his lost flock, and he has a unique ability to make Jesus feel both grounded and sympathetic in his portrayal.
3. Cliff Curtis –Risen
In 2016, Kevin Reynolds directed and co-wrote the biblical drama Risen, which was released in the United States under the title “Risen.” It stars Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth, and Cliff Curtis and is based on the story of a Roman soldier’s search for Jesus’ body after his Resurrection, which takes place after his death. The film was released in theaters in the United States on February 19, 2016, thanks to Columbia Pictures. Ironically, Curtis’ most endearing characteristic has everything to do with how little he has witnessed.
He’ll be sitting with his buddies one minute, and the next, he’ll have disappeared into thin air.
Curtis’ portrayal of Jesus is reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’ Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia, in that he makes Jesus feel strong and being mysterious at the same time.
4. Max von Sydow –The Greatest Story Ever Told
The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film created and directed by George Stevens, and it is considered to be the greatest story ever told. It is a recounting of the story of Jesus Christ, beginning with his birth and continuing until his ascension. This film is notable for the large number of actors who participate in it, as well as the fact that it is Claude Rains’ final film performance. For many years, Max von Sydow served as the public face of Jesus Christ on the world stage.
Not only did Sydow have to bear the weight of the role of Jesus, but he also had to distinguish himself from established performers such as Charlton Heston, Angela Lansbury, and a slew of other well-known faces that starred in the picture.
That is a triumph of biblical proportions, to put it mildly.
5. Jim Caviezel –The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ (also known as The Passion) is a 2004 American biblical drama film directed by Mel Gibson and written by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald, and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ, Maia Morgenstern as the Virgin Mary, and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene. The film was written by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald, and it was released in 2004. It depicts the Passion of Jesus in a manner that is essentially consistent with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Also included are religious chronicles such as the Friday of Sorrows, which are sometimes found with other devotional works such as the alleged Marian apparitions attributable to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (also known as Anne Catherine Emmerich).
It’s impossible to imagine the terror, the agony, and the resolve that Jesus felt when he was nailed on the cross.
Despite the fact that controversy continues to loom over The Passion of the Christ, it has done nothing to diminish Caviezel’s magnificent performance.
What is your favorite film depicting the life of Jesus, and why?
The Greatest Movies About Jesus Christ, Ranked
An alphabetical list of the best-ever films that include Jesus of Nazareth as a key character, as ranked by the members of the Ranker community Please vote for your favorite Jesus films to see which ones make the cut for the top of the crucial Jesus movies list. (See this page for a comprehensive list of all films in which Jesus Christ appears as a character.) These are the greatest Jesus Christ films of all time, ranging from the most recent to the most historic, and they are an excellent method to learn more about Jesus’ life.
The Passion of the Christis is one of the most well-known films depicting the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
For example, in Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail Mary, the conventional Jesus tale is altered or reinterpreted from a contemporary point of view (as in The Passion of the Christ).
Please vote on the finest Jesus movies and use this list of Jesus Christ movies to learn about films you may have been unaware of and to share your knowledge with other people.
What are the finest Jesus Christ films produced by Hollywood? Take a look at this list and give your approval to the items you like the most. Then keep checking back to see which movies on Jesus have been released recently and which ones are the most current. Photo:
5 Jesus movies you should watch this Easter
The television miniseriesJesus of Nazareth, which featured Robert Powell in 1977, was a critical and commercial success. Featured image courtesy of RAI and ITC Entertainment. (REVIEW) With Easter rapidly coming and many of us stranded at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, there has never been a better moment to both view and discuss films about the life and death of Jesus than right now. The figure of Christ has been represented in a number of ways on cinema during the course of the previous six decades.
- Over the course of many years, the controversy has raged over whose representation of Jesus was the most genuine, true, and impactful.
- In it, he chose some contentious selections, ones that continue to stoke the flames of controversy every Easter.
- The crucifixion of Jesus is the most significant event in the Bible, and it is the event that altered the path of history.
- At the same time, other performers have taken on the role of Jesus, garnering widespread praise from the audience.
- This list excludes popular religious phenomena such asJesus Christ Superstar and sacrilegious ones such as The Last Temptation of Christ from consideration.
- Despite the fact that the life of Jesus is the greatest tale ever told, the depiction of the subject in Hollywood has not always been pleasant.
- The 1988 film, starring Willem Defoe as Jesus, deviates from the Bible to portray a profane story about the historical figure.
- Its shock value is intended to delight spectators, in the manner of traditional Hollywood fare.
The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
The film (originally titled Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo in Italian) is a 1964 dramatization of the life of Jesus, based on the Gospel of Saint Matthew. It was directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The film begins with the birth of Jesus and continues through the Resurrection. What factors influenced the Italian director’s decision to cast Matthew? Because “John was too mystical, Mark was too vulgar, and Luke was too emotional,” Matthew was the perfect choice for Pasolini.
Jesus is played by Enrique Irazoqu, a relatively unknown Spanish actor who is primarily presented as a barefoot farmer in the film. The neorealist film was hailed as the finest ever created on Jesus by the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, back in 2015.
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
The Greatest Story Ever Told, released a year after Pasolini’s film, is one of those epic films that were popular in the 1960s. In contrast to Pasolini’s film, which was simple and low-budget, The Greatest Story Ever Toldtells the Biblical account of Jesus’ life in grandiose style and cost $20 million at the time. The ensemble cast included the recently-deceased Max von Sydow, who was also well-known for his role as a priest who battles the devil in The Exorcist, who played Jesus in the film.
It continues to be the only Hollywood-produced film to take up the life of Jesus in a sober and thoughtful manner.
Jesus of Nazareth (1977)
What began as a fantasy of a TV miniseries portraying the life of Jesus starring some of the biggest stars in film history was turned into reality as one of the most accurate depictions of Jesus’ life ever produced. Anne Bancroft played Mary Magdalene, Laurence Olivier played Nicodemus, Anthony Quinn played Caiaphas, Rod Steiger played Pontius Pilate, Michael York played John the Baptist, James Earl Jones played Balthazar, and Robert Powell played Jesus in the film’s central role. Until the release of The Passion of the Christ, the picture, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, was considered the gold standard for what a production on the life of Jesus should be like.
It has been said that the towering, blue-eyed Jesus Powell depicted is an inaccurate version of the Christ by some people.
The classic film, which broadcast on television in two regions of the world at the same time, is so well-known that it is still shown on television throughout the Easter season, four decades after it first debuted.
Francis of Assisi and was released in 2012.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
The Passion of the Christ is a Mel Gibson film that takes all four gospels and tells the story of Jesus’ final 12 hours, which is emphasized by the Crucifixion. It begins with Jesus in Gethsemane, continues with Judas Iscariot’s betrayal, and culminates with the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross. Jim Caviezel was cast in the role of Jesus Christ. Gibson, a traditional Catholic, has stated that he conforms to the Roman Catholic religion as it was before to the Second Vatican Council, which took place between 1962 and 1965.
The movie, on the other hand, was judged problematic by some because of its excessive violence and anti-Semitism in the way the members of the Sanhedrin are shown in their eagerness to capture and execute Jesus.
It continues to be the highest-grossing Christian film of all time. Despite this, it did not receive an Academy Award nomination.
The Chosen (2017)
The Chosen, starring Jonathan Roumie as Jesus, is the first-ever multi-season television series to be based on the life of the historical figure. In addition, Jonathan Roumie portrays Jesus, and the disciples are represented by guys who have a strong Middle Eastern accent rather than a European accent. “The Chosen is surprisingly inventive and dramatic in fleshing out the characters in Jesus’ life,” observed critic Joseph Holmes in a recent article for Religion Unplugged. Nichodemus is portrayed as a Pharisee who experiences a crisis of faith after discovering that Jesus is capable of performing miracles.
- Unless Simon Peter can acquire any fish before the morning, he will be taken to prison by the Romans since he owes money to them.
- For Simon, this causes the story’s stakes to be increased to the point that when Jesus performs his miracle of the fish, it is viewed as a redemption act rather than merely a miracle for him.
- Who did the finest job portraying Jesus?
- Clemente Lisi is a senior editor of Religion Unplugged and a regular writer to the publication.
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The Best Movie Made About Jesus? A Few To Consider.
This year’s Good Friday and Easter Sunday are shaping up to be something out of the ordinary, if not unprecedented in terms of weather and weather patterns. Going to church is out of the question for the majority of us. Dinners with extended family members are also off the table. Yes, we can paint eggs. assuming we can find any at the grocery store that we want to color, of course. However, this time of year is, without a doubt, all about Jesus: His sacrifice, His burial, and, most importantly, His resurrection from the dead.
- This blog was initially published last year in anticipation of Easter, but we at Plugged In felt that it was much more pertinent now than it was then.
- I was struck by how accurate it seemed in some areas and how completely incorrect it felt in others, with those moments sometimes separated by only a few seconds of screen time between each other.
- Of course, everyone who films a Jesus film has a preconceived notion about what they want to achieve.
- Given the fact that the Gospels have captivated readers for millennia, it’s maybe not surprising that the very first movie about Jesus was also one of the very first movies ever produced.
- Obviously, it appears to be a little shabby now, but the special effects were mind-blowingly good for a time when most people didn’t even have access to electricity.
- Those who wish to encourage the faithful prefer to stay true to the script and the Scriptures.
- It was published last year a compilation of four Gospel movies, which were meticulously faithful cinematic renditions of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Risen, one of my favorite movies about Jesus, was an entirely fictitious drama that framed the Easter narrative as a mystery that was solved by the audience.
Not that the faithful, who helped to make The Passion the most profitable R-rated film in history, were bothered by it.
The outcomes have been inconclusive.
Despite the fact that filmmaker Martin Scorsese has always regarded himself to be a man of profound, questioning religion—a faith that frequently seeps into his films—his adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ controversial 1955 book of the same name was widely derided by Christians.
In 2016, a film titled The Last Days in the Desertwas released in a small number of art houses around the country.
However, it was only seen by a small number of individuals, including me.
Perhaps no other film is as unexpected as Italy’s The Gospel According to St.
Pier Paolo Pasolini, an ardent atheist and self-proclaimed Marxist, directed the picture.
His film is based so largely on the book that virtually every word of dialogue is taken directly from the Bible.
This video was hailed as “the finest film on Jesus ever created” by L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper.
Matthew in its whole.
The film Ben-Hur (a 1959 epic that bears up quite well today and was originally published in book form as “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”) comes to mind if I were to choose a favorite movie about Jesus to recommend to others.
In addition, despite its violent excesses, I was captivated by The Passion of the Christ as well.
Is there a movie about Jesus that you believe is the finest one ever made? Do you have a favorite film that you like to watch around Easter? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or on Facebook and Instagram. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.
5 Best Jesus Movies That You Need Watching
Given that Easter is only a few days away and that many of us are confined to our homes due to the coronavirus epidemic, there is no better time than right now to watch movies about Jesus’ life and death. The way Christ has been represented on cinema has changed dramatically over the last six decades. Here are some of the most memorable. The accuracy of certain depictions has been more apparent than others. Over the course of many years, Christians have debated which portrayal of Jesus is the most truthful, true, and effective.
- Every year around Easter, the discussion about his contentious selections continues to flare.
- The crucifixion of Jesus Christ stands out as the most significant event in human history, according to the Bible, since it altered the trajectory of human history.
- Meanwhile, a number of well-known performers have taken on the character of Jesus Christ in a variety of different productions.
- When compiling this list, neither Jesus Christ Superstar nor sacrilegious films such as The Last Temptation of Christ were taken into consideration.
- Despite the fact that the life of Jesus is the greatest narrative ever told, Hollywood has not always been fair to him.
- The representation of Jesus in this vulgar film from 1988, which stars Willem Defoe, is inconsistent with Scripture.
- It’s a typical Hollywood production, with a strong emphasis on shock factor.
1. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
It is based on the Gospel of Matthew and was directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1964. Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo is a dramatization of Jesus Christ’s life that was released in 1964. The narrative of Jesus begins with his birth and continues through his death and resurrection to the present day. It’s unknown why the Italian director chose Matthew above the other candidates. Pasolini favoured Matthew over the other gospels because “John was too esoteric,” “Mark was too vulgar,” and “Luke was too romantic,” according to Pasolini.
Enrique Irazoqu, a relatively unknown Spanish actor, portrays Jesus, who is seen largely as a barefoot farmer throughout the film. It was deemed “the greatest ever created” by the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in 2015, and it is a neorealist film about Jesus.
2. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
It is no surprise that epic films were popular in the 1960s, and The Greatest Story Ever Told is no exception to this rule. It cost $20 million to create The Greatest Story Ever Told when it was released, but Pasolini’s film is basic and low-budget in comparison to the former. Max von Sydow, who died recently, was most remembered for his portrayal as a priest in The Exorcist, in which he battles the devil in order to save his parishioners. In this film, Jesus is played by the late Max von Sydow.
JCS is remains the only Hollywood picture to deal with the life of Jesus Christ in a serious and gloomy way, as was the case with the original film.
3. Jesus of Nazareth (1977)
In a TV miniseries featuring some of the most renowned movie actors of all time, one of the most accurate representations of Jesus’ life was made possible, and it wasn’t just a fantasy: it was a reality. Anne Bancroft portrayed Mary Magdalene, while Laurence Olivier portrayed Nicodemus, Anthony Quinn portrayed Caiaphas, Rod Steiger portrayed Pontius Pilate, Michael York portrayed John the Baptist, James Earl Jones portrayed Balthazar, and Robert Powell portrayed Jesus, who was the film’s central character.
- Jesus’ living spirit, as well as the sadness and sacrifice he had to endure in his final days, were all depicted well in the film.
- Despite the fact that Zeffirelli’s film shows Jesus as both gentle and forceful, it is nevertheless a beautiful film in many respects.
- Zeffirelli died last summer at the age of 96, after a long illness.
- Francis of Assisi, which he filmed in 2005.
- Francis of Assisi’s poor origins, starred British actor Graham Faulkner as the saint.
- Francis in the film.
4. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Using all four gospels as sources, Mel Gibson portrays the final 12 hours of Jesus’ life in great detail in the film The Passion of the Christ. The betrayal of Judas Iscariot, the crucifixion of Jesus, and his death are all depicted in this tale. In the film, the character of Jesus Christ was played by Jim Caviezel. According to Gibson, who describes himself as a traditional Catholic, he adheres to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church as they were before to the Second Vatican Council, which lasted from 1962 to 1965.
The film was lauded for its portrayal of the Sanhedrin’s ambition to arrest Jesus, but it was criticized for being overly violent and anti-Semitic, according to some critics.
Since its debut, it has maintained its position as the highest-grossing Christian film ever released in the United States. However, it did not get an Academy Award nomination.
5. The Chosen (2017)
The Chosen, a multi-season television series depicting the life of Jesus that stars Jonathan Roumie as the titular character, is the first of its kind. In this film, Jonathan Roumie portrays Jesus, while the disciples are played by Middle Eastern males rather than Europeans, as is customary in the genre of drama. In the words of Religion Unplugged’s Joseph Holmes, “It is a very imaginative and dramatic method to flesh out the individuals in Jesus’ life.” Nichodemus experiences a spiritual awakening after learning that Jesus is capable of performing miracles.
- As of this morning, Simon Peter owes money to the Romans and faces the prospect of being imprisoned if he does not catch enough fish before dawn.
- As a consequence, when Jesus performs a miracle with the fish, Simon interprets it as an act of redemption rather than a mere miracle, and as a result, the miracle becomes a turning point in his life.
- Who, in your view, represents Jesus the most accurately?
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Who is the best movie Jesus?
Since the beginning of the medium, filmmakers have used images of Jesus Christ into their work. Generally speaking, the Son of God has been viewed with reverence and awe over the centuries. Ben Hur just gives us a brief glimpse of him. A slow, reverent pace guides him through early biblical films such as Cecil B. DeMille’s originalKing of Kings (which he also directs). As time progressed, directors began to take risks that may lead to controversy, but we’ve never been too far away from a Jesus movie that would be OK for a Sunday-school trip.
10. Kenneth Colley (Life of Brian, 1979)
We are not bearing false witness in this matter. Obviously, Graham Chapman’s portrayal of the misunderstood Brian is the variant on Jesus that matters in this case. Though he would eventually go on to portray Admiral Piett in The Empire Strikes Back, Kenneth Colley played Christ at The Sermon on the Mount in his real life. “Blessed are the cheesemakers,” you would say.
9. Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings, 1961)
However, when it came to his interpretation of the New Testament account, Nicholas Ray opted for the safe route and cast the most uninteresting actor that was readily available. Jeffrey Hunter, who was sarcastically referred to as “I was a teenage Jesus” by some wags, went on to star as Captain Pike in the Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot.
8. Ted Neeley (Jesus Christ Superstar, 1973)
Although Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera is no longer talked about much, it was a real sensation that ran for an indefinite period of time in the West End.
In the film adaptation, the principal character was played by another harmless talent, the attractive Ted Neeley. Judas has completely outdone himself. Again!
7. Victor Garber (Godspell, 1973)
Yes, there was a surprising amount of spirituality woven into the latter hippie era, which was a surprise to me. Godspell, another critically acclaimed stage production, sends a portrayal of Jesus out onto the streets of modern New York City. Victor Garber, who started off as a great actor, went on to become one of those inevitable character performers. When you first see his face, you’ll immediately recognize him. That’s right, that person.
6. Max von Sydow (The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1965)
We’re having a conversation now. George Stevens wasn’t taking any chances with his rendition of a narrative that was as wonderful as (if not better than) any other story ever recounted before. There will be no boring beach bums. There were no grey warblers to be found. Von Sydow, who is well known for his melancholy performance in Ingmar Bergman films, was cast as a Jesus with intellectual weight by Stevens.
5.Joaquin Phoenix(Mary Magdalene, 2018)
As a result of Phoenix’s passionate performance, the notion that Jesus came across as insane is allowed to exist. After all, the earliest Christians were a kind of cult in nature. His acting, on the other hand, has an odd warmth to it. Despite the title, he continues to be the focal point of the picture.
4. Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth, 1977)
It is likely that if you were alive in 1977, you would recall Franco Zeffirelli’s series as a true phenomenon. Everyone you’d ever heard of was cast in the film, but despite the presence of all the Oliviers, Bancrofts, and Steigers, it was the only mildly famous Robert Powell who garnered the most amount of attention. Everyone, including hardened atheists, agreed: “There’s something about his eyes.” Was anyone there? In any case, he was a decent Nazarene.
3.Jim Caviezel(The Passion of the Christ, 2004)
Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Jesus’ last days continues to be controversial: it is considered too gruesome, too anti-Semitic, and too directed by Mel Gibson. However, there’s no denying the intense concentration with which Caviezel delivers his portrayal. As a deeply devout Christian of the old school – no nude scenes were permitted – the actor saw the part as a kind of commitment to his faith. Other performers have done the same thing by simply pretending, so don’t be fooled.
2. Willem Dafoe (The Last Temptation of Christ, 1988)
It’s becoming more difficult to believe all of the hoopla. Even though Martin Scorsese’s cinematic version of Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel addresses the humanity of Christ in an occasionally daring manner, the film was nothing if not serious and reverent in its treatment of the subject. Dafoe infuses the part with a menacing charm that alludes to the presence of hidden demons. Keep an eye out for moneychangers!
1. Enrique Irazoqui (The Gospel According to St Matthew, 1964)
Irazoqui is most remembered for a single performance, yet it is one of the most unforgettable ever seen in the history of cinema. A great deal of concern was expressed by the devout when Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, a communist and atheist, used methods from Italian neo-realism to St Matthew’s gospel. In the end, the stunning monochrome film turned out to be the most emotionally gripping portrayal of Christ’s life that has ever been produced.
Irazoqui has a soothing appeal that persuades rather than coerces others to do what they want. The communists will find it earthy enough. For the believers, this is sufficient respect.
Easter Choices for the Best and Worst Films About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ Superstar | Universal Pictures | “Jesus Christ Superstar” The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus outside of Jerusalem, which took place around 1,984 years ago, is an event that most people today are familiar with thanks to movies and television plays about the event. Here are some of the finest Jesus films to watch this Easter season, as well as a handful that should be “banned from theaters.” The arrival of Jesus, who is first glimpsed by a little girl whose sight has recently been restored, is delayed in Cecil B.
- When she looks up, she sees a haloed person in front of her, played by H.B.
- These days, Warner is most well-known for his role as the heartbroken druggist Mr.
- Sally Rand, who would go on to become a fan dancer, and Ayn Rand, who would go on to become a novelist, were among the extras in the crowd scenes (no relation).
- The Robe, released in 1953, marked the beginning of the end of a 25-year embargo on Jesus films in the United States.
- It then started on the production of the first Hollywood-produced Jesus biopic in modern times, engaging Nicolas Ray to helm Jeffrey Hunter in the lead role, which was released in 2008.
- Ray’s goal was to draw a comparison between Jesus’ life and the narrative of the Jewish anti-Roman rebel Barabbas (Harry Guardino).
- Hunter is a thoughtful Nazarene who, unfortunately, is a little too “beautiful.” The film was dubbed “I Was a Teenage Jesus” by its detractors.
In Pier-Paolo Pasolini’s masterpiece, which adheres so closely to Matthew’s gospel that it’s almost like a sacred text in its own right, the half-Basque, half-Jewish non-professional actor Enrique Irazoqui played a no-nonsense Marxist revolutionary Jesus—with a touch of Ché—with a touch of Ché in his performance.
- Titanus Distribuzione’s “The Gospel According to St.
- The Swedish actor Max von Sydow played Jesus, a somber, slow-speaking figure whose words bordered on the portentous in George Stevens’ epic, which was his last picture.
- Greatest Story, although was beautifully filmed in 70mm, was too frequently reminiscent of a Western, and the hiring of stars in tiny roles was distracting as well.
- ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ stars Max von Sydow and is distributed by United Artists.
- A muscular and tough-talking (albeit self-doubting) street prophet, Jesus is played without holiness by Northern Irish actor Colin Blakeley.
His statement that he is not scared of “the nails” confounds Pontius Pilate (Robert Hardy), and he soothes the Judaean prefect by urging him, “Don’t be afraid—no there’s reason to be terrified.” Colin Blakeley in ‘Son of Man’|Broadcasting Corporation of India Robert Powell’s Jesus was inspired by Warner Sallman’s 1940 painting “The Head of Christ,” which was neither Jewish nor exclusively Northern European in its origins.
Those unblinking blue eyes, which are eerily similar to those of H.B.
There are many instances in which he encounters John the Baptist (Michael York) and deters the men who are ready to stone the Adulteress that stand out among the finest (Claudia Cardinale).
ITC Entertainment presents Robert Powell in the film “Jesus of Nazareth.” Like Colin Blakely’s Jesus inSon of Man, Willem Dafoe’s Jesus inSon of Man is an earthy, sensuous, furious self-doubting self-doubter racked by guilt and tortured by the weight of reconciling his divinity with his humanity.
- This, on the other hand, is the temptation that Jesus faces during his crucifixion and which he chooses to reject in order to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
- ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ stars Willem Dafoe and is distributed by Universal Pictures.
- He takes on the role of Daniel, a performer-playwright who has been commissioned to stage a modern adaptation of the Passion at a Roman Catholic temple.
- Arcand challenges reactive viewpoints on the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ death.
- Orion Classics presents Lothaire Bluteau in the film “Jesus of Montreal.” In Hal Hartley’s wry impressionistic comedy about the second coming, a suave, suited Jesus (Martin Donovan), accompanied by his assistant Mary Magdalene (rock musician P.J.
- Hal Hartley’s wry impressionistic comedy about the second coming is a wry impressionistic comedy about the second coming Are the Seven Seals contained in Jesus’ laptop worth breaking and bringing about the Apocalypse, or does humanity deserve a second chance at salvation?
- “This divine vengeance nonsense is completely incorrect.
Martin Donovan and P.J.
There is no screen.
This scene, in which the leering Roman guards scourge Jesus for an extended period of time while the Pharisees stand by and do nothing, is one of the most heinous moments in modern film history; there is no “God in the details” in this scene.
Jim Caviezel stars in ‘The Passion of the Christ’, which is distributed by Newmarket Films.
It attempts to be realistic while coming across as uninteresting and simplistic.
It focuses more on his path as an anti-establishment rebel than on his journey as a spiritual leader. Haaz Sleiman, a Lebanese-born actor, portrays a rote Jesus, one who lacks any sense of divinity. Actor Haaz Sleiman stars in the National Geographic Channel documentary “Killing Jesus.”
Father James Martin: Seven Jesus movies to watch this Easter
In the NBC production of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” which premieres on April 1, Sara Bareilles portrays Mary Magdalene and John Legend portrays Jesus Christ. Photograph by Virginia Sherwood for the Associated Press/CNS ) The original version of this story appeared on May 3, 1997, with the title “The Gospel According to Blockbuster.” Although Blockbuster has long since gone out of business, these films are still accessible to rent on the internet. This year, on Holy Thursday, I found myself at a video store, looking for “Jesus of Nazareth,” a film that my Jesuit community had determined would be appropriate for viewing during the Easter Triduum that year.
- An attractive young man with lank brown hair sat behind the counter, his ears and nose decorated with a series of silver rings, one in each ear and one in his nose for good measure.
- The video ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ is what I’m looking for.” “Do you happen to have it?” I inquired.
- “I think you’re the seventh person to ask me that question today.
- ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ ‘Jesus of Montreal,’ and other classics from a genre that has endured for decades For a brief moment, I believed he was joking.
- “Um, I don’t know.” “Isn’t Easter only a few days away?” I inquired.
- “It’s Easter,” he murmured, wiping the hair out of his eyes with one hand.
- Despite the fact that “Jesus of Nazareth” was not available at the City Video store, my nose-ringed pal provided some other recommendations.
“I’m very sure you wouldn’t like them,” he said.
As a result, because other DVDs were also unavailable, the members of my community were forced to settle with “Jesus Christ, Superstar.” ’ These videos can assist us in the process of “composition of location,” as defined by St.
When it comes to television and movies, I firmly believe that they may occasionally inspire us to look at Scripture with fresh eyes.
More significantly, they can assist us with what St.
To put it another way, if done properly, movies may assist us in our prayers.
Jesus of Nazareth is a historical figure who lived at the time of Jesus of Nazareth (1978).
It adheres to the teachings of the Gospels (more or less).
The film also does an excellent job of portraying the “two natures in one person,” effectively navigating the heretical shoals of Arianism and Docetism.
Especially successful is his expulsion of devils from the body.
It demonstrates the compelling personal power of Jesus the man, as well as the compelling power of God working through him.
If you haven’t watched the film in a while, you may have forgotten just how nicely some of the Gospel tales are presented in it.
At one point during the Visitation, Mr.
And the Magnificat comes out of Olivia Hussey’s mouth sounding, astonishingly, rather natural.
Do you have any issues?
In the end, you have to question if James Earl Jones (Balthazar) is aware of how difficult it is for audiences to forget that he was the voice of Darth Vader.
However, these are only minor cavils.
The King of Kings is the most powerful person on the planet (1961).
It progresses through the Gospel stories relatively quickly until we come upon an erroneous presentation of Jesus’ sayings and parables, which most directors intersperse (as do the Evangelists) with miraculous events, which is a misdirected presentation.
His Jesus erects himself on a hill and, in closeup, simply recites saying after saying for a solid five minutes and thirty seconds.
There are no disciples following him after that, which the audience finds surprising.
In the manner of many mainstream religious films (think “Therese”), this small gem came and went far too swiftly.
In case you missed it the first time around, the plot centres on a non-religious performing team in Montreal who are commissioned to perform a passion play at a local Catholic church.
It is the troupe’s intention to examine the life of Jesus of Nazareth and to create their own version of the Passion Play.
As his show becomes a sensation, the actor who plays Jesus (Lothaire Bluteau) is lured by a malicious producer to leave his small company and pursue greater opportunities.
All of this, says Satan, might be yours if you work hard enough.
He then crafts a whip out of television wires and chases the money changers out of the studio.
However, it is still entertaining, and, as with last year’s “Breaking the Waves,” you will have a good time identifying the not-so-subtle Gospel parallels in the film.
A number of years ago on the television show “All in the Family,” Archie Bunker got into a heated debate with his son-in-law Mike Stivic (better known as Meathead) concerning the Broadway stage production of this musical.
Prior to your generation turning Jesus into a hippy rock-and-roll star, Jesus was in perfect health, he proclaimed.
In this rendition, thanks to the efforts of composer (Lord) Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, the music and lyrics are well matched to the tone of the story and the emotions of the disciples are examined.
The rock-and-roll score is still invigorating, and the lyrics provide a surprising amount of insight into some of the Gospel passages in question.
For the sake of the nation, this Jesus must be killed, as the evil Pharisees proclaim.
With a long white robe and a wispy beard, Ted Neeley plays Jesus, who is a perfect 1970s waif in a ’70s style.
And while we’re on the subject of the 1970s, there are enough bell bottoms, Afros, tube tops, and hip huggers to go around for everyone.
There is one lingering issue with this film.
(Although, one guesses that this would not be St.
Most likely, it’s best to simply get the LP (sorry, CD) of the theatrical version and enjoy it for its dramatic depiction of the Passion.
This one may be difficult to come by at any of the bigger retail outlets, but some specialty video stores may have this interesting film by Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini in their inventory.
Pasolini, as he did in many of his earlier films, used only local, untrained performers, which gives his film a distinct flavor from the star-driven, big-budget Jesus pictures that are so popular nowadays, according to the film’s critics.
Overall, the film’s focus on the Gospel of Matthew limits its scope a little, but its stark simplicity provides it a contemplative, even dreamlike aspect that is unlike any other picture on this list.
This film, which is similar in scale and goal to “Jesus of Nazareth,” has a cast that is virtually as spectacular as that of the previous film.
It is a competent adaptation of the Gospel stories, and it held the distinction of being “the best of them” until “Jesus of Nazareth” surpassed it.
That sounds interesting.
He would have been a better choice for those dismal Ingmar Bergman films.
An interview with director Martin Scorsese was broadcast on National Public Radio a couple of weeks ago.
Scorsese was asked about his film “The Last Temptation of Christ,” which was conducted by the venerable film critic Roger Ebert.
Scorsese stated that he had spoken with a number of religious leaders, as well as some friends who were Catholic priests, to ensure that the film represented, in his words, the “right Christology.” It would be nice if individuals who initially opposed the film were aware of the amount of effort that went into creating his unfairly condemned work.
Since then, it has been more difficult to understand what all the excitement was about.
To be honest, this extended daydream consumes a good 40 minutes of the film’s duration.
Who knows why certain people were so enraged that Jesus was accused of being tempted.
Why not on the nailed-to-the-cross?
Scorsese’s film made plainly evident.
During my viewing of the film at a cinema in New York City, I was confronted by five ladies with rosary beads, each of whom informed me of where I would be at the conclusion of my earthly existence.
Throughout the towns where the “The Last Temptation of Christ” was being performed, she had crimson tongues of fire projected onto the streets.
Willem Dafoe makes for an odd Jesus (Mr.
While not a particularly insightful look at the time and man, it is well worth a $3.50 rental from Blockbuster to see it.
Look no further.
Do you yearn for the 1970s?
Are you looking for a reliable retelling of the Gospels?
And who is the greatest of the bunch?
And don’t feel bad if you’re getting spiritual comfort from what you’re watching on television. James Martin, S.J. is a Jesuit priest. America’s editor-in-chief, the Rev. James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, author, and editor at large.