The Great Commandment

A young rebellious Judean scholar is inspired after meeting with Jesus of Nazareth.
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Format:  DVD
item number:  ALP 5081D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 20 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: June 27, 2006
  • Originally Released: 1941
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
  • Audio:
    • (unspecified) - English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Directed by

Description by

In 30 A.D., Judean zealots take up the sword against the Romans, whose tyrannic rule brings taxation, persecution and crucifixion. In one village, two brothers who lead the local rebellion have conflicting strategies. Joel, the eldest, dreams of uniting the king-less land of Israel into a grand army of resistance to Rome. His hot-headed younger brother, Jemuel, wants to lead an immediate small-scale assault against the few soldiers stationed in their village. A traveling merchant brings news of a carpenter's son from Nazareth who some call "King" and even "Messiah." Joel decides to seek out this man to offer him his sword as a symbol of the allegiance of the rebel band he commands. When he finally finds the wandering master, Joel's offering is refused with a gentle admonition about living and dying by the sword, and he learns the nature of true resistance to tyranny - the revolutionary insurgency of love. Armed with a renewed spiritual resolve, he returns home in time to witness the death of his brother at the hands of a Roman centurion. With the entire village expecting him to lead a swift and vengeful strike against their oppressors, Joel finds his newborn faith put to the ultimate test.

The Great Commandment was directed in 1941 by Irving Pichel, a Harvard graduate with a dual Hollywood resume, both as a character actor (Fagin in 1933's Oliver Twist and the vampiric Sandor in the 1936 Universal classic, Dracula's Daughter) and as a director. It was in this latter role that he enjoyed the greater success. His two decade career included such diverse works as The Most Dangerous Game (1932), She (1935) and Destination Moon (1950), which won an Oscar for its ground-breaking special effects. Pichel is also duly noted for having "discovered" a young actress named Natalie Wood.

Product Description:

When the future of two young lovers is threatened by political upheaval in Judea, a boy sets out in search of Jesus, hoping to persuade him to lead a revolt against the Roman Empire.


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 9,333
  • UPC: 089218508195
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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