The Greatest Story Ever Told

George Stevens Productions

Drama History
199 min     6.4     1965     USA


From his birth in Bethlehem to his death and eventual resurrection, the life of Jesus Christ is given the all-star treatment in this epic retelling. Major aspects of Christ's life are touched upon, including the execution of all the newborn males in Egypt by King Herod; Christ's baptism by John the Baptist; and the betrayal by Judas after the Last Supper that eventually leads to Christ's crucifixion and miraculous return.


John Chard wrote:
*Repent!* Sue me, but I like it plenty, all 3 hours plus of ass numbing is not a problem to me. It has been called a cumbersome bore, amongst other things, but some of the technical craft is amazing. The story itself is enthralling, building to the shattering Crucifixion parts of the tale, while for every pointless star cameo shoehorned into the production, there's also a Savalas, a Baker and a Heston. Then of course there's Sydow, giving a beautifully intense turn as Jesus, a magnetic portrayal that holds the attention throughout. Ironically director George Stevens struggled with his own ills during production, a cross to bear as it were, but just as Jesus had Sidney Poitier to share the burden, so to did Stevens, who had David Lean to help carry the load. Now that's a deity if ever there was one. It's a gorgeous film, grand and epic, sensitive and astute. Flaws? Plenty for sure, yet it harks back to a time of blunderbuss epic film making, when story telling meant something, when a musical score rattled the ears and the heart, and when cinematography soothed the eyes as if cool lemon slices had been placed upon the optical nerves. Yeah, I'm a fan. If you are not then I forgive you, for you know not what you do. 7/10