King of Kings (1961)
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 4,153
The powerful and critically-acclaimed story of Jesus told in a strikingly beautiful visual style. Stars Oscar-nominees and Emmy-winner Rip Torn (TV's "The Larry Sanders Show") as Judas and Robert Ryan ("Bad Day at Black Rock," "Crossfire," "The Wild Bunch") as John the Baptist with Jeffrey Hunter ("A Kiss Before Dying") as Christ. Directed by Oscar-nominee Nicholas Ray ("Rebel Without a Cause," "In a Lonely Place"). Narrated by Orson Welles ("Citizen Kane"). "...grandly filmed...deeply moving" -
Oct 30, 1961 Wide
Feb 25, 2003
MGM Home Entertainment
Watch It Now
Lucius the Centurion
John the Baptist
Conrado San Martin
Rafael Luis Calvo
Simon of Cyrene
Ted de Corsia
Félix de Pomés
Joseph of Arimathea
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Director Nicholas Ray has brooded long and wisely upon the meaning of his meanings, has planted plenty of symbols along the path, yet avoided the banalities of religious calendar art.
This quirky 'Scope biblical spectacular is a lot more thoughtful and interesting than most.
Many of the scenes (especially the ones centered on Pilate and John the Baptist) are as good as anything in the history of the Biblical epic.
And there are moments within King of Kings that are quite beautiful and striking , deliberately intended to stand out from the norm.
Because the makers of King of Kings took a chance by casting heartthrob Jeffrey Hunter as Christ, this was quickly dubbed by industry wags I Was a Teenage Jesus. But the film is far better than that label would suggest.
Nicholas Ray's biblical epic, toward the end of his career, is an intelligent film that finds the right balance between exteriors and interiors, stunning vistas and compelling characters.
... whereas detractors dismissed the films as I Was a Teenage Jesus, it's more accurate to describe it as Rebel With a Cause.
Although it may rely a little too heavily on spectacle, it features fine acting, direction, and photography. On Blu-ray it makes a splendid showing.
Jeffrey Hunter is less Saviour of the Christian faith and more anti-hero with many very human doubts and concerns.
An epic of considerable scope, filled with broad vistas, yet there are enough intimate moments to give audience a chance to engage with the characters rather than just admire their pontificating.
Perfect for Easter TV.
Audience Reviews for King of Kings
- Narrator [uncredited]: And when the tomb was found empty, some days passed, and Christ was seen at Emmaus, and in Jerusalem, and those who saw Him knew He was the Lord God. And then a final time He came among His disciples by the shore of Galilee...
- Jesus Christ: [offscreen] Do you know and love Me? Feed My sheep, for My sheep are in all the nations. Go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature who hungers. I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. [We see the shadow of Jesus coming nearer toward the ocean, soon the shadow becomes perpendicular with the wood lying on the sand which makes a cross. The disciples leave; Peter is the last to go]
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