The life of Christ got an excessively long treatment (260 minutes, later trimmed to 195) in this 1965 film directed by George Stevens (The Diary of Anne Frank). Max von Sydow does beautiful work as Jesus--his spontaneous mourning at discovering his friend Lazarus has died is not like anything in other New Testament epics--and Stevens renders the familiar tale with a handsome authenticity. But the project is nearly undone by an unwise gimmick in which seemingly half of Hollywood's living stars at the time make brief (often very brief) cameo appearances, some of which are ridiculous. But there is a lot to like in the film, and Von Sydow's sensitive nobility sticks in the memory. --Tom Keogh
"A magnificent film, handled with reverence, artistic appreciation and admirable restraint" (NewYork Daily News), this glorious epic is an inspiring, grand-scale recreation of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, from His humble birth and teachings to His crucifixion and ultimate Resurrection. Lavishly produced at a cost of $20 millionan enormous amount for the timeand honored with five 1965 Academy AwardÂ(r) nominations*, this exceptional motion picture is exquisitely beautiful. Now fully restored to its original theatrical brilliance with intermission and overture, it is truly The Greatest Story Ever Told. *Cinematography (Color), Original Score, Art Direction (Color), Costume Design (Color), Special Visual Effects
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