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Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew) (1964)



Average Rating: 8.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 4,155

My Rating

Movie Info

Relating his facts in straight-on documentary fashion, Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1964 Biblical film stars Enrique Irazoqui as Jesus. In it, Christ and his followers are depicted as gentle radicals working against the grain of the unjust Roman power structure. Typically offbeat Pasolini touches include having Satan disguise himself as a Catholic priest and the casting of the director's own mother as the Virgin Mary. The music is selected from a variety of sources, from Bach to American spirituals. Il

Jul 22, 2003

Water Bearer Films Inc.

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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

Pasolini uses a complex but seemingly stark and simple visual style, and he evokes wonderful performances from nonprofessionals Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, and Marcello Morante.

October 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This highly political interpretation of the passion is as scandalous in its own way as Mel Gibson's but more poetic, more contemporary in its impact, and more serious in its overall morality.

October 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Certainly Pasolini's most satisfying movie.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The consequence is a crescendo of excitement and involvement with the fervor and passion of Jesus and an accumulating sense of the irony and tragedy of Jesus' suffering, in historical as well as spiritual terms.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tells the life of Christ as if a documentarian on a low budget had been following him from birth.

April 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cinema's most impressive biblical movie to date.

March 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Superb in every way, and possibly the film-maker's best.

March 1, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A fierce magnesium flame of a movie.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Pasolini, a gay atheist Marxist, has made one of the most intriguing films about Jesus, cast with unknowns and shot in documentary style.

April 21, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Definitely one for multiple viewings, and arguably up there with Pasolini's best.

March 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

A defiantly earthy anti-epic, Pasolini's Gospel is a period piece in costume only, placing its rather scruffy, contemporary-looking Christ in the steep southern Italian hills of Calabria.

August 21, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Beautifully retells a spiritual story without resorting to the overbearing piousness that makes most American Bible films such well-intentioned slogs.

April 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Seen as a Catholic-Marxist statement at the time, nearly 40 years on, Pasolini's cinematic accomplishment still impresses.

March 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Pier Paolo Pasolini benefited from the very austerity that underlies the particular and at the same time universal center of this film.

November 24, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

A quirky version of Matthew's story, one that was closer in accord with fundamentalist beliefs than Marxist tenets.

September 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's Jesus Christ's greatest hits in this Pasolini classic, a scrappy and odd adaptation of, as the title suggests, the Book of Matthew.

June 8, 2006 Full Review Source:

Its most enduring achievement is an ironic one, given Pasolini's Marxism: No other life-of-Christ film is so contemplative.

April 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Striking juxtaposition of the poetic and prosaic.

March 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinemania

O ateu Pasolini foi capaz de compreender algo que o devoto Mel Gibson falhou em perceber: a morte de Cristo é apenas um pequeno ato de uma história repleta de belas mensagens.

March 20, 2004
Cinema em Cena

Unconventional and very moving.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew)

the most beautiful gospel film i have seen...made by an openly gay communist and dedicated to the pope. amazing faces!
December 27, 2011
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

The controversial Pier Paolo Pasolini retells the life of Jesus Christ in a much more honest way than many of the "socially accepted" filmmakers who tried to do the same. Told in neorrealist key, without embellishment nor grandiloquence, and that's where the beauty and the greatness of the film comes, from its natural feel and simplicity.
June 12, 2009

Super Reviewer

Best film about Jesus- bar none.
October 7, 2007

Super Reviewer

Pasolini's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" begins as an intriguing tale about an intense preacher in ancient times, but the plot turns less plausible as the film continues and the character gains various magical powers. Too bad. Wonderful locations and hats, though.
February 10, 2012
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Das erste Evangelium Matthäus (DE)
  • The Gospel according to St. Matthew (UK)
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