The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
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Filmmaker George Stevens chose Monument Valley, Utah for his exterior sequences in The Greatest Story Ever Told, this ($20 million) adaptation of Fulton Oursler's best-selling book. The "Greatest Story" is, of course, the life of Jesus Christ, played herein by Max Von Sydow. The large supporting cast includes Dorothy McGuire as Mary, Claude Rains as Herod the Great, Jose Ferrer as Herod Antipas, Charlton Heston as John the Baptist, Donald Pleasence as Satan (identified only as "The Dark Hermit"), David McCallum as Judas Iscariot, Sidney Poitier as Simon of Cyrene, Telly Savalas as Pontius Pilate and Martin Landau as Caiaphas. Even Robert Blake as Simon the Zealot, Jamie Farr as Thaddaeus, and motorcyle-flick veteran Richard Bakalyan as Dismas, the repentant thief, are well-suited to their roles. Originally roadshown at 260 minutes, Greatest Story Ever Told was later available in a 195-minute version. … More
as Pontius Pilate
as Herod Antipas
as Roman Centurion
as Simon the Zealot
as Captain of Lancers
as Herod the Great
as Captain of Lancers
as Herod's commander
as John the Baptist
as The Dark Hermit
as James the Younger
as James the Elder
as Pilate's aide
as Gen. Varus
as Mary Magdalene
as Mary of Bethany
as Martha of Bethany
as Man at Tomb
as Bar Armand
as Old Aram
as Woman of No Name
as Speaker of Capernaum
as Joseph of Arimathaea
as Simon of Cyrene
as Peter's 2nd Accuser
as Woman behind railing...
as Rabble rouser
as Peter's 2nd accuser
as Good Thief on Cross
as Bad Thief on Cross
as Weeping woman
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Critic Reviews for The Greatest Story Ever Told
Hammy performances by Charlton Heston as John the Baptist, Telly Savalas as Pilate, and, in the most notorious bit of casting, John Wayne(!) as a Roman soldier overseeing the crucifixion ("Truly, this man was the son of God," drawls the Duke).
Tends to degenerate into a series of increasingly bizarre walk-ons.
Wile it's not quite as bad as the critics claimed upon its release, it's not particularly good either.
The prophets should speak with respect of this $20 million Biblical epic.
By reputation, the results are so dull and so consistently undercut by a succession of star cameos that no one seems to mind the various shorter versions released since them, one of them less than half as long.
Despite some rousing scenes, may be the most boring movie ever made ...
If this is the greatest story ever told I can imagine how horrid is the worst story ever told.
Mr. Stevens has done it in a generous and often stunning style. And the quality of his reverence should captivate the piously devout.
Yes, the celebrity cameos distract, but the film focuses more on Jesus' message than the overated King of Kings If you've never seen it in widescreen, you are missing a revelation.
The New Testament meets "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in this unintentionally funny all-star Biblical epic.
So call me a blasphemer and a heretic. Producer/director/writer George Stevens' ultimate project simply isn't a very good film.
One of the most boring movies ever made; if Jesus was a wooden in life as he is in this movie, he would not have attracted one disciple.
Don't let the title fool you. It's all hype. The gratuitous cameos make it hard to take the movie seriously.
The most unintentionally hilarious biblical epic ever to grace the silver screen.
Audience Reviews for The Greatest Story Ever Told
A HUGE investment of time that drags here and there but a chance to see the kind of spectacle that isn't made anymore. A fine example of the craftsmenship of old Hollywood.More
A very fast and incomplete story of the life of Jesus, many facts left out but still worth 4 stars/More
An overly long version of Christ's story. Von Sydow is great as Jesus, but hearing the Duke's voice as the Centurion pissed me off for some reason.More
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