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The Last Temptation of Christ (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1988)

Willem Dafoe , Harvey Keitel , Martin Scorsese  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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"The Life Aquatic" Available for Pre-order on Blu-ray
The Criterion Collection's release of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic is available for pe-order on Blu-ray. This title releases May 27th, 2014. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Actors: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey, Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie
  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006ML50R4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,991 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last Temptation of Christ (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack by supervising sound editor Skip Lievsay

Audio commentary featuring director Martin Scorsese, actor Willem Dafoe, and writers Paul Schrader and Jay Cocks

Galleries of production stills, research materials, and costume designs

Location production footage shot by Scorsese

Interview with composer Peter Gabriel, with a stills gallery of traditional instruments used in the score

PLUS: An essay by film critic David Ehrenstein


Editorial Reviews

The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull), is a towering achievement. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is. This fifteen-year labor of love, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s landmark novel that imagines an alternate fate for Jesus Christ, features outstanding performances by Willem Dafoe (Antichrist), Barbara Hershey (Hannah and Her Sisters), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets), Harry Dean Stanton (Paris, Texas), and David Bowie (The Man Who Fell to Earth); bold cinematography by the great Michael Ballhaus (Broadcast News); and a transcendent score by Peter Gabriel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
167 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the commentary - much revealed May 28, 2004
Format:DVD
First of all, this area is SUPPOSED to be for reviews of this movie, not dire warnings of damnation if one watches it. It is JUST a movie....something tells me Jesus and his believers can survive it. Please don't turn this forum into a religious debate.
I think anyone who purchases this DVD edition of the film should definitely go back and listen to the director/actor/screenwriter commentary included with the film. In it, Marty and the screenwriter explain why they used the actors they did, and why they used today's vernacular. They had the characters speak this way so that the viewer is more aware that the players in the New Testament WERE human, just like us. Marty believed that the stilted English of the King James Court, with its "thou's" and "ye's" (and having absolutely NO relation to the way people spoke at the time) serves to distance modern viewers from the pain and doubt that both Jesus has his followers underwent.
Marty also was desperate to counter the prevalent depiction of Jesus in film that has him 100% "divine", with a golden light shining behind his head, with the divine little smile and the gentle words. He wanted to use the idea in the Bible that Jesus was also fully human, subject to both physical AND mental anguish. The latter is the point that Gibson missed in his film. Anyone who has ever lost a child or had to make an agonizing decision knows that mental anguish can be as painful as any physical torment. This movie is about the true temptation Jesus underwent, to deny God and run away from his destiny. All of us can identify with that.
I find this Jesus far more compelling than the Jesus I grew up with in Sunday school. This Jesus is not perfect. He hurts and has soubts and depressions like I do. And yet he gives his body and mind to God in the end.
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164 of 198 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most misunderstood of all modern movies February 24, 2004
By S B
Format:DVD
While the film is not as authentic as the upcoming "The Passion of the Christ" (where Aramaic is used), it was much more realistic and gritty than previous film portrayals. What really adds to the drama of the film is the soundtrack by Peter Gabriel.
Having received 12 years of Catholic school education, culminating when this film was released, I was amused to read the incredible outpouring of emotions by narrow-minded Christians against this film, both at the time is was released and in the reviews. To me, a sure-fire sign of narrow-mindedness is their utter inability to appreciate art for what it is and the fact (evident from their reviews) that they have not even seen the movie. My faith was not so weak as to refuse to entertain artistic explorations and alternative viewpoints.
Although not wholly based on the scriptures, the theme of this film IS based more upon the very nature of Jesus Christ himself. That is, the film and the book both attempt to dramatically explore the contradictions associated with the dual identity of Jesus as both God and man - a schitzophrenic combination indeed.
SPOILERS AHEAD:
In this film, Jesus as man resists God's call, at age 30, to take up his role as spiritual savior. Jesus-as-man IS tempted by his own thoughts and doubts (manifested by Satan), the last temptation occuring in a stupor as he hangs dying on the cross - the opportunity of becoming all man. This post-death illusion sequence, where Jesus goes on to marry Mary Magdeline and see the dire consequences of such a course of action, covers the last 3rd or so of the film.
Read more ›
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137 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie entered my soul...and stayed. March 23, 1999
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The deep spiritual feelings that this movie makes me harbor have changed the way I see the world forever. I can almost feel the pains that Jesus must have went through on the cross physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Even though this account of Jesus' life is fictional, the viewer can see and feel the true sacrifice that Jesus made by giving His life on the cross and the struggle it took to get there. Although this movie is condemned by many (most of whom didn't even see it), my personal relationship with God was strengthened by it, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Willem DaFoe was strong, passionate, and yet vulnerable as the Son of God, and Harvey Keitel was masterful in his portrayal of a very believable Judas who helped Jesus in ways many never realized possible (fictional of course). The soundtrack by Peter Gabriel is haunting and moving, and is just one more reason that makes this Scorsese film a true work of art. Though it is not the greatest movie ever made, it is a great movie just by the way it makes you think and feel. I love to watch this movie around Christmas and especially Easter because it always brings me closer to God through Christ. All I have to do is think about this movie and it makes my heart warm, and all the cares of the world are made that much lighter. The role of Satan in this movie really hits home with how tricky he can be, and I think it gives me just another weapon in my own struggle between good and evil - spirit and flesh. You must remember that this is not the true story of Jesus Christ... this story is symbolic of our own personal struggles to become more Christ-like. Christ never faultered in His destiny... but we have, and we will.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars New spin, old story
It's hard to separate a story I've heard more than a couple of times from the movie. Did pretty good until the Guardian Angel/just a Jewish carpenter with a few kids part.
Published 25 days ago by publica domain
4.0 out of 5 stars Christ the man
Realism. Showed Christ as a man and yet portrayed his divinity in his ability to love even in the face of insult.
Published 29 days ago by margarita reynes
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning take on the sacrifice and what it means to man
Thank YOU Lord Jesus Christ for giving your life for us, for finally putting up and shutting up and sacrificing your own begotten flesh so that we may have a personal relationship... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lorin Stoll
4.0 out of 5 stars A very human movie...about a very human Savior
The Last Temptation of Christ isn't a perfect film by any means. Not necessarily for its blasphemous content, but as a film itself. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars A Misunderstood Classic
With The Last Temptation of Christ, Scorsese creates a jaw-dropping character study that is every bit as polarizing and radical as its central figure. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MoVwatcher20
1.0 out of 5 stars The Last Tempation Of Christ Was Terrible
I have only seen part of this evil film that was so ridiculous, and an obvious attack against the true character of our Lord and savior. Read more
Published 1 month ago by William Mills
3.0 out of 5 stars Uninteresting and Too Slow.
Viewed: 2/14
Rate: 5

2/14: If I told you that Martin Scorsese directed The Last Temptation of Christ, you will probably find it hard to believe. But he did. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Austin Somlo
1.0 out of 5 stars Somebody should have read the Bible
Suggesting that Jesus tried to get out of what he was called to do by making crosses for the Romans? Please! They did not get the actual temptations right. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alicia Simpson
1.0 out of 5 stars Satanic Garbage!
Jesus Christ is fully God and in His carnation He was fully human. To disparage either nature is heresy. This is the Jesus that stoned atheist wish existed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by William Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars Christs Temptation
I've seen this film a ton of times and loved it. This Criterion Collection version is so clear and HD. I enjoyed it even more as if I was seeing it in the theatre. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jesus Galindo
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