The King of Kings Reviews
Probably my 2nd fav Jesus portrayal ever (after Powell).
H.B. Warner as Jesus, decrepit as he appears, lends a quiet dignity to the film that is transfixing; even for a 52 year old.
Extremely well directed, by DeMille. Among the greater silent productions. Far ahead of its time.
There's some melodrama. Judas is Skeletor without a hint of redeemable qualities. Same with the Sanhedrin. However, they are so good at playing evil, they could be pro wrestling heels.
Also, didn't know Judas was so ridiculously good looking.
The effects are FAR ahead of their time.
As far as silents go, it's among the greater ones.
Very faithful adaptation. Powerful imagery.
Loved the colored bookends.
The story is entirely original just scenes directly sourced out of the bible, the significance lies in the visual spectacle that Cecile B DeMille often delivered. Thankfully due to DVD audiences can now access the 155 minute which is includes an opening & closing scene that is shot on early two tone technicolor.
It's entertaining & melodramatic but definitely a little static in comparison to productions yet to come ie Passion of the Christ 2004 etc. An interesting film to watch & eye to the glory days of Biblical Epics on screen.
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.
The King of Kings is the best adaptation of the life of Jesuschrist, his miracles and messages. Finally, a respectable, tolerant and fair adaptation of what He represents in the world and among humanity. Awesome. Excellent silent as well.
Oh, and the two-strip Technicolor is very, very cool.
There's also significant detail paid here toward accuracy: all the Gospels have been integrated and most of the intertitles (eg, diologue/script cards) are footnoted with chapter/verse. Hence, the typical viewer may still learn a thing or two.
The Resurrection scene is in (a very crude version of, and restoration of) Technicolor.
This film premiered at, as well as grand-opened, Grauman's Chinese Theater.
Be sure to choose this 155-minute version, a Criterion resto, which I viewed when served up as TCM Christmas fare.
RECOMMENDATION: For those especially interested in the telling of the last years of Christ, both worthy, powerful viewing and hidden gem.