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


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


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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 Vangelo Secondo Matteo was released in the U.S. as The Gospel According to St. Matthew -- much to the discomfort of Pasolini, who didn't want Matthew designated as a saint. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Margherita Caruso
as Mary (younger)
Susanna Pasolini
as Mary (older)
Mario Socrate
as John the Baptist
Guido Cerretani
as Bartholomew
Luigi Barbini
as James, Son of Alpheus
Marcello Galdini
as James, son of Zebedee
Elio Spaziani
as Thaddeus
Alessandro Tasca
as Pontius Pilate
Amerigo Bevilacqua
as Herod the Great
Francesco Leonetti
as Herod Antipas
Franca Cupane
as Herodias
Rosana di Rocco
as Angel of the Lord
Eliseo Boschi
as Joseph of Arimathea
Natalia Ginzburg
as Mary of Bethany
Ninetto Davoli
as A young shepherd
Renato Terra
as A pharisee
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News & Interviews for Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew)

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

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (5)

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.

Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…

Certainly Pasolini's most satisfying movie.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top 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 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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

Apr 9, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

[VIDEO ESSAY] This film seems to say that religious doctrine has worked as long as it has because its poetry is so beautiful. It also allows for the passing of generations who will eventually reject all religion because it is ultimately a lie.

Nov 20, 2015 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

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

Pasolini seems to assume that everyone knows the story by heart and therefore glosses over some passages making it feel too eventful; even so, there is an astonishing baroque intensity in what we witness here, as though he traveled in time with a camera to register those epic moments.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


the most beautiful gospel film i have seen...made by an openly gay communist and dedicated to the pope. amazing faces!

Stella Dallas
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.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


Best film about Jesus- bar none.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer

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