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Showing 1-10 of 445 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 643 reviews
on January 30, 2014
"The Greatest Story Ever Told" is not an uninspired Sunday school lesson, soap-box lecture nor "holiday" movie and probably shouldn't be lumped in with other biblical epics. Rather, it's more of a 260 minute art film that attempts to capture a few moments from arguably the most influential life in human history.

Such an unprecedented and large cast of established actors may be distracting to some, however so many of the performances hint at an underlying passion. Whereas actors such as Charlton Hesston, Jose Ferrer and Martin Landau do justice to the subject other performances such as Sal Mineo, Sidney Poitier, Van Heflin and even John Wayne somehow give the impression of a desire to be part of something larger than themselves thus adding to the overall credibility. Gary Raymond is an impetuous and sometimes abrasive Peter, Telly Savalas embodies Roman imperialism and arrogance, Donald Pleasance presents a surreal personification of evil and Max Von Sydow is such a palpable source of gravitas whose piercing eyes speak volumes.

There are few greater examples in cinema that come to mind where extended pauses in dialogue are used to such powerful effect especially in emphasizing one of the most hauntingly beautiful, original musical scores on film while the innovative use of the American Southwest rather than the Middle East for location shots enhances the overwhelming breadth of the story itself. Particularly noteworthy scenes include: the temptation of Christ, healing of a blind man in Nazareth, the resurrection of Lazarus accompanied by the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's "Messiah", the inner turmoil of Judas' betrayal, recitation of the Lord's prayer on the banks of the Jordan at dusk, the solemnity of the Last Supper, the abject darkness of Christ's trial before the Sanhedrin, the bleakness of the crucifixion and the triumphal Easter morning. At first glance the script seems to employ an almost disjointed use of scripture lacking context however it is more of an example of added exposition and definitely requires some thought on the part of the viewer.

Cinematic masterpiece is probably a term thrown around a bit lightly (I even do it myself sometimes) but this truly represents a profound adaptation of a weighty subject. The overall tenor possesses a welcome hint of cynicism rather than the unrealistic optimism typically associated with religious films of a previous era but without the blunt irreverence of subsequent decades; "Greatest Story Ever Told" is a mentally demanding and emotionally evocative film that shouldn't be taken lightly. :o)
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on October 29, 2016
The main actor in this movie did an outstanding job of portraying the Lord Jesus with dignity and reverence. I am sure the Lord's real life wasn't as dignified as this actor portrayed him, but the Lord Jesus deserves to be portrayed this way after all He had to endure to work the Redemption. The entire movie follows Holy Scripture almost to the letter, therefore, there is almost nothing that one can read into it. One can sit back an enjoy listening to Scripture lessons as the Lord may have taught them in both word and action. This movie is a breath of fresh air as to the way movies are made today.
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on April 11, 2017
Such a great movie. I saw this when it first came out and you could have heard a pin drop when it ended. The Manager of the theatre asked people not to applaud but to leave the theatre in a quiet and orderly fashion. Many famous actors were in this film which added to it.
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VINE VOICEon December 1, 2008
The Greatest Story ever told

We wanted to own this movie so we can share it with young adults that are in the process of understanding and defining their religious belifs.

While rather lengthy, this George Stevens directed film provides an in depth view into the life of Jesus Christ, touching on all aspects of the story. The cast of characters is simply superb and we found ourselves trying to identify the cameo appearance of our favorites, including John Wayne, Max von Sydow, Pat Boone, Charlton Heston, Martin Landau, Angela Lansbury, David McCallum, Sidney Poitier and Telly Savallas.

The film delves into the life of Christ with great reverence and respect, recreating his path through life, crucifixion and resurrection. The scenes are filmed in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah with Pyramid Lake in Nevada used to represent the Sea of Galilee, Lake Moab in Utah used to film the Sermon on the Mount and Death Valley in California as the setting where Jesus spends 40 days in the wilderness. Back in 1962, the explanation provided by the producer was that none of the scenes could have been filmed in the Middle East to provide the background of grandeur required to recreate the life of Jesus Christ.

Premiering on February 15th, 1965 at the Warner Cinerama Theatre in New York City, this film became a classic and now we can share it with family and friends during the holiday season. Don't miss it!

After researching, here is a list of actors that played the main characters:
1. Jesus = Max von Sydow
2. Young man at the tomb = Pat Boone
3. Barabbas = Richard Conte
4. Mary Magdalene = Joanna Dunham
5. Herold Antipas = Jose Ferrer
6. John the Baptist = Charlton Heston
7. Caiaphas = Martin Landau
8. Judas Iscariot = David McCallum
9. Simon of Cyrene = Sidney Poitier
10. Pontius Pilate = Telly Savalas

We dare you to find... John Wayne!
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on May 4, 2011
One of the most beautiful, and expensive, films made of the life of Christ. Hated by most critics in 1965, a box ofice disaster, cut from the original 260 minutes to 225 then to 199, and even cut down to 141 minutes. What we have on Blu-Ray is not the 225 minutes Roadshow version but what seems to be the only existing 199 minutes version. Which means thanks to the disgraceful policy of United Artists of dumping their movies, wherever - after initial release, director George Stevens' masterwork will never been seen in it's true glory or length, and seems lost forever. The Blu Ray edition is the best quality yet on home video and is a must for any true lover of the intelligent Hollywood epic. But, compared to "Ten Commandments", "The Bible, in the beginning..." and "King of Kings" (which were released at the same time on Blu Ray, and are all superb), the picture quality is very disappointing, but it's the best and only one we have. Unfortunately from the obvious deterioration visible on the print, it is doubtful if future generations will be able to see even this version, unless something is done very quickly to restore and save it, and that whould be a tragic loss, as it is not only George Stevens' most mature and heartfelt work as a director, but also composer Alfred Newman's finest score.
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on May 17, 2011
I am an avid movie buff since childhood and have always loved the big biblical epics of the late 50's and early 60's. Whenever any of these movies premiered in NYC I would be there on opening day to see it. The Greatest Story Ever Told has been one of my favorite films so I was excited to see the blu-ray release of this wonderful movie. However, although the movie on blu-ray looks substantially better than the dvd release, I was quite disappointed in the picture quality of this new release. Good at times, fair at times, never really consistent. This classic movie deserves a restoration similar to The Ten Commandments and Gone With The Wind and The Sound Of Music. Buy it if you don't already have it on DVD ortherwise wait for a 4k restoration.
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on April 30, 2017
One of my favorites that I've had as a DVD for years and now the color and contrast are Blu-Ray worthy. Glad I bought it.
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on May 24, 2017
I think there are much better movies about Jesus Christ than this one. Consider Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth.
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on April 29, 2015
One of the better stories of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. It's very hard to be critical of this film. No need to be judgemental as many people are familiar with the story, both from films, documentaries and the New Testament. Do not expect any new revelations and it probably will not convert anyone. It is a decent movie and worth watching. Christ taught peace and love, something we need of in the world of today.
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on June 8, 2016
this is my favorite version - watch it every Easter - this year I could not find the DVD - it was great to be able to rent it with Amazon Prime Video.
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