A splendid, deeply moving screen biography of Christ. Especially memorable is the portion of the film depicting the "Sermon on the Mount."
Nicholas Ray's lavish and beautifully constructed widescreen epic about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. "King of Kings" is built upon a series of narrative parallels and contrasts between Jesus and Barrabas. The film portrays the thief as a rebel leader of the Jewish resistance; unlike Jesus, who preaches a message of peace, Barrabas advocates violence as a means to an end. By building his drama around this religious and philosophical conflict, Ray establishes a tension that defamiliarizes this well-known story. Highlights include the Sermon on the Mount and the scene in which Salome asks King Herod for the head of John the Baptist.
Bible Epic |
Jesus Christ |
Originally a 70mm production, shot in Super Technirama.
A silent version of the life of Christ, also called "King of Kings," was directed by Cecil B. de Mille in 1927. The cast included H.B. Warner (Christ); Jacqueline Logan (Mary Magdalene); Joseph Schildkraut (Judas); Ernest Torrence (Peter); Victor Varconi (Pontius Pilate); Dorothy Cummings (Mary, mother of Jesus); and Rudolph Schildkraut (Caiaphas).