The King of Kings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The King of Kings Reviews

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April 17, 2016
Despite being a little one-dimensional at times, actually incredibly good!
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.
March 26, 2016
One of the early great Biblical Epics that is not only a major production of the 1920's but this film's premier was the grand opening of Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.

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.
½ April 9, 2015
A beautiful rendering of the story told in typical DeMille style. It's nice to see Warner as Christ, however I kept thinking of Mr. Gower in It's A Wonderful Life. As with most DeMille epics, a pair of scissors could have helped the overall telling of the tale. The version I saw ran 2.5 hours. The color scenes are eye-popping.
January 13, 2015
A touching and respectful epic. Wonderful even without the spoken word. Color and black & white sequences. A film for the family to watch together. Do not miss this one, it is a moving experience.
½ December 28, 2014
good version of this but i still prefer the 1961 version
½ October 6, 2014
There are some curiosities to be had here for film buffs, especially those who are ever in awe of the silent film mavericks and the giant leaps they made. However, The King of Kings is part of the blander breed of silent films. It's quite empty apart from from its virtuoso filming techniques.
April 10, 2014
Not the most accurate "passion" film. However, the visuals are very great.
January 1, 2014
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.
September 16, 2013
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
July 21, 2013
THE best portrayal of Jesus ever! The drama and inaccuracy in the first third of the movie is forgivable in light of the exquisite spirituality of the Savior's character: his love for the little ones, his love and forgiveness for the sinner, his love and compassion for the sick and downtrodden. Yes, the definitive and interwoven sentiment throughout the film is "love". It is my opinion that no movie in modern times has been able to capture the humble grandeur of Jesus Christ as Mr. Warner did in the 1927 movie. I was also impressed with the portrayal of the various Mary's and Martha. Their individual efforts to bring the onlooker into the hearts of the women they were portraying was successful in that we were able to experience through them the tenderness, immeasurable love, and reverence they felt for the Savior; and, of course, in the end, the overwhelming grief which rendered them so physically and emotionally that they found any normal function of life incapacitate. Yes, I truly loved this movie and hope to find a copy for my library. Reva Dalton Bailey
May 4, 2013
Cecil B. DeMille returns to the silent religious epic after the success his previous The Ten Commandments. This film, however, is plagued by mediocrity and a terrible air of self importance. While the scenario is disconnected and employs the most traditional cheesy tactics to engage its audience emotionally, even the overtly meticulous photography seems flawed as it is exaggeratedly artificial, and helps make the film as spiritually fulfilling as a religious Christmas card. Some moments of technical majesty are still admirable and downright spectacular, but The King of Kings never elevates itself to the standards that DeMille could have been able to achieve.
April 1, 2013
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.
April 1, 2013
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.
ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2012
Cecil B. DeMille may be well known for his legendary Blockbuster hit "The Ten Commandments". However, it is not his best film.

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.

94/100
½ April 27, 2012
Hokey and sentimental, but De Mille is a showman, and to his credit, he bends over backwards to not blame the Jews.
May 25, 2011
I have issues with the opening scene, but it's where it needs to be after that.
December 28, 2010
Such hokum. Devoid of complexity, nuance, subtelty... just like any other DeMille film. However, he's like Capra - a driving force of earnestness that is so overwhelming that you just go along with the material. It's technically flawless filmmaking - the earthquake is spectacular, for instance. H.B. Warner seems to have based his performance on stained-glass windows, which isn't really a problem for a silent film. The only real performance of note, though, is Joseph Schildkraut as Judas Iscariot, who portrays a rather consistent and heartbreaking decline into hell for the character.

Oh, and the two-strip Technicolor is very, very cool.
½ November 22, 2010
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.
August 15, 2010
Though it's silent B&W, DeMille's telling of the Works of Christ truly stands the test of time. Camera composition, lighting and score are all more than strong enough to carry the viewer well beyond the burden of lack of dialogue.

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.
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