The King of Kings (1927) - Rotten Tomatoes

The King of Kings (1927)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The Biblical story of Jesus Christ -- from his early years through the Resurrection -- is rendered with equal parts sanctity and melodramatic spectacle. Cecil B. DeMille's follow-up to his successful The Ten Commandments (1923) has portions filmed in Technicolor and was remade in 1961.


H.B. Warner
as Jesus Christ
Jacqueline Logan
as Mary Magdalene
Clayton Packard
as Bartholomew
Charles Requa
as James, the Less
Rudolph Schildkraut
as Caiaphas, high priest
Sam De Grasse
as The Pharisee
Casson Ferguson
as The Scribe
Montagu Love
as The Roman Centurion
Majel Coleman
as Proculia, Wife of Pilate
William "Hopalong" Boyd
as Simon Of Cyrene
Josephine Norman
as Mary Of Bethany
Ken Thomson
as Lazarus
Dot Farley
as Maid Servant of Caiaphas
Hector V. Sarno
as The Galilean Carpenter
Clarence Burton
as Dysmas, the Repentant Thief
Leon Holmes
as The Imbecile Boy
Richard Alexander
as Soldier of Rome
Budd Fine
as Soldier of Rome
Otto Lederer
as Eber, a Pharisee
Sally Rand
as Slave To Mary Magdalene
Jimmie Dime
as Soldier of Rome
Bryant Washburn
as A Young Roman
as Prince Of Persia
Monte Collins
as A Rich Judean
James Farley
as An Executioner
May Robson
as The Mother of Gestas
Noble Johnson
as A Charioteer
Lionel Belmore
as A Roman Noble
Andre Cheron
as A Wealthy Merchant
Muriel McCormac
as The Blind Girl
Jim Mason
as Gestas, the Unrepentant Thief
William Costello
as A Babylonian Noble
Dick Richards
as Soldier of Rome
Julia Faye
as Martha
Viola Louie
as The Woman Taken in Adultery
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The King of Kings

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

As a work of art it is a complete failure, because it is anaemic and because it shows us a Christ who, though obviously a virtuous and mild man, is completely lacking in the fire and spiritual vigor that go to the making of the great leaders of mankind.

Full Review… | February 27, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Tremendous is The King of Kings -- tremendous in its lesson, in the daring of its picturization for a commercial theatre and tremendous in its biggest scene, the Crucifixion of Christ.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

It's a dull, tasteful film by a director who was anything but.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The recounting of the Gospels according to De Mille seems awkward, tedious and hokey.

Full Review… | December 24, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sermons rarely make good films, this one being no different.

Full Review… | November 5, 2007
Projection Booth

Tells its story with all the reverence DeMille and his cast can muster... Don't make the mistake of assuming that it's merely quaint today

Full Review… | January 13, 2005
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Audience Reviews for The King of Kings

This is an example of the book being much better than the film. The film provides some iconic "stained glass" images - but sadly, the images of Christ have always taken on greater cultural significance than the man Himself, or the book that tells about Him. There are some interesting revisions of the Gospel Epic in this film, and scenes were built around scripture verses taken out of context and strung together to create a linear narrative. There are scenes wherein assumptions made, and connections implied that are not actually in scripture . . . all in all, as a Christian, this left me pretty cold, and even a bit disturbed by its shallow portrayal of Christ, sensationalization and lack of substance.

J. Scott Fugate
J. Scott Fugate

When a confirmed atheist finds a movie about the life of Christ moving, it must be special. This is. Having seen nearly all the Biblical epics over the years, "King Of Kings" is clearly the best. It has all the earmarks of a DeMille film- cast of thousands, scantilly clad girls gyrating around, and all of that. It also has one of the best reveals in film history; the first time we see Jesus, thru the eyes of a miraculously healed blind girl, is moving. A must-see during holiday times.

David Gordon
David Gordon

Awesome silent-film version of the Jesus myth, replete with some vintage sets and an easy to follow, dry recounting of the events shortly before and after the crucifixion (Using Scripture snippets themselves). I think I am biased, as biblical adaptations have always immensely fascinated me, but I still think this film is epic enough to stand on its own two feet, over eighty years after it was filmed. The perspective is from the New Testament, so Judaism is second class, and there's proselytizing ulterior motives, but the more zealous a religious director, the better the movie experience. For seriously diverse juxtaposing, see this alongside The Passion of the Christ; both films are practically one in the same in terms of structure, script and purpose, but with obvious decade distinctions.

Richard Cranium
Richard Cranium

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