The Greatest Story Ever Told (Special Edition)
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- 2-disc set
- New documentary including on camera interviews with the director and cast
- Original "Making Of" documentary
- Deleted Footage
- Photo gallery
- Production Stills
Top Customer Reviews
George Stevens' vision of the story has a stark majesty, and is taken at a leisurely pace; it is also quite verbal, with some of the major events in the gospels not pictured, but spoken of instead.
Filmed in Arizona and Utah, the cinematography by Loyal Griggs, who took over from William Mellor when Mellor passed away during filming, is glorious. There are scenes that have the composition and balance a fine painting, with extraordinary detail, often framed by doorways or windows, and it's a film I never tire of just looking at. Graphic artists should make a point to see this film, as there is much that can be learned from it. Alfred Newman also wrote a lovely score (with a little help from G. F. Handel) which adds to the aesthetic appeal of this film.
In the huge star-studded cast, some performances are truly memorable, like Claude Rains as a bitter and devious Herod, and Jose Ferrer excellent as his son Herod Antipas; Charlton Heston's ferocious, wild-man John the Baptist is impassioned and perhaps more like the actual Baptist than some of the tamer portrayals.Read more ›
The choice of Max Von Sydow to play Jesus is an interesting selection to say the least. His slight Swedish accent and closely cropped beard are certainly in keeping with the reverential tone of the film, but I can not help wondering if this was something of a reaction to the more populist Jesus portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter in "King of Kings." After all, this was 1965 and the Beatles invasion was underway making male hair length a hot issue. This is a Jesus who is too solemn and too sedate for the most part. There is a nice moment where one of the new disciples comments that he likes Jesus' name. The smile and "Thank you" that follow are one of the few glimpses of the charisma of the man from Galilee.
The strength of the film is in the gorgeous cinematography by William C. Mellor (who died on the set of a heart attack) and Loyal Griggs, and scene composition under the direction of George Stevens. The opening narration goes from the opening verses of John shot over ancient Christian murals to a shot of the manager, ending with a shot of the hand of the baby Jesus as the narrator announces in a most simple manner, "The Greatest Story Ever Told.Read more ›
The film itself is generally well done, although it falls somewhat short in its sanitized depiction of the passion. However, most of the film is absorbing and the numerous "celebrity" cameos no longer (as time goes by) are the distraction they once were. John Wayne's "Truly this man was the Son of God" centurion is an exception. Claude Rains as Herod the Great, Jose Ferrer as Herod Antipas and (surprisingly) Ed Wynnn as the blind man healed by Jesus give powerful performances.
The movie is worthy of anyone's library and is a great companion to The Passion of the Christ.
The cast for this movie could go on for pages. Max von Sydow gives an excellent performance as Jesus Christ, although he might not look like the usually accepted idea of Jesus. Charlton Heston and Telly Savalas also give very good performances as John the Baptist and Pontius Pilate. The film also stars David McCallum as Judas, Jose Ferrer as Herod Antipas, Dorothy McGuire as Mary, Martin Landau as Ciaphias, Donald Pleasence as Satan(although he is credited as the Dark Hermit), and many others. The film also stars Michael Anderson JR, Roddy McDowall, Victor Buono, Ed Wynn, Sal Mineo, Ina Balin, Carroll Baker, Van Heflin, Jamie Farr, and so many more. There are several very small cameos most notably John Wayne, Shelley Winters, Sidney Poitier, and Claude Rains all of which are pretty good for how small they are.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If it would be for acting role they all will get almost 5 stars, but for the Biblical order and it's accuracy it isn't close to a 3 star. Read morePublished 1 month ago by barbara rivera
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.Published 1 month ago by Candy
Very well done! I enjoyed it a lot! I will be watching it again soon!Published 1 month ago by NUC Rules
Just an awful movie !!! Von Sydow is so mis-cast as Christ and rest of movie is borderline fictional!!! I threw it in the garbage I was so disgusted.Published 1 month ago by Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Democrat
I saw this in it's original 70mm Cinerama format. This actually started filming in the original three strip Cinerama process but was abandoned due to excessive cost and switched to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brian D. Zachel
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