Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told

3.4 7
Director: George Stevens

Cast: George Stevens, Max von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Robert Loggia

     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/23/1993
UPC:
0027616165831
Original Release:
1965
Rating:
G
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Max von Sydow Jesus Christ
Dorothy McGuire Virgin Mary
Robert Loggia Joseph
Claude Rains King Herod
José Ferrer Herod Antipas
Charlton Heston John the Baptist
Marian Seldes Herodias
John Abbott Aben
Rodopho (Rudy) Acosta Captain of Lancers
Philip Coolidge Chuza
Michael Ansara Herod's commander
Donald Pleasence The Dark Hermit
David McCallum Judas Iscariot
Roddy McDowall Matthew
Michael Anderson James the Younger
David Sheiner James the Elder
Gary Raymond Peter
Burt Brinckerhoff Andrew
John Considine John
Jamie Farr Thaddaeus
David Hedison Philip
Peter Mann Nathaniel
Tom Reese Thomas
Telly Savalas Pontius Pilate
Angela Lansbury Claudia
Johnny Seven Pilate's aide
Paul Stewart Questor
Harold J. Stone Gen. Varus
Mark Lenard Balthazar
Frank Silvera Caspar
Joanna Dunham Mary Magdalene
Janet Margolin Mary of Bethany
Michael Tolan Lazarus
Carroll Baker Veronica
Pat Boone Young Man at the Tomb
Sal Mineo Uriah
Van Heflin Bar Armand
Ed Wynn Old Aram
Shelley Winters Woman of No Name
Chet Stratton Theophilius
Ron Whelan Annas
John Lupton Speaker of Capernaum
Abraham Sofaer Joseph of Arimathaea
Martin Landau Caiaphas
Nehemiah Persoff Shemiah
Joseph Schildkraut Nicodemus
Victor Buono Sorak
Robert Busch Emissary
John Crawford Alexander
John Wayne The Centurion
Sidney Poitier Simon of Cyrene
Richard Conte Barabbas
Frank de Kova The Tormentor
Joseph Sirola Dumah
Robert Blake Simon the Zealot
Russell Johnson Scribe
Daniel Jenkins Philip
Cyril Delevanti Melchior
John M. Pickard Peter's 2nd accuser
Celia Lovsky Woman behind railings
Mickey Simpson Rabble rouser
Richard Bakalyan Good Thief on Cross
Marc Cavell Bad Thief on Cross
Renata Vanni Weeping woman

Technical Credits
George Stevens Director,Associate Producer,Screenwriter
James Lee Barrett Screenwriter
Marjorie Best Costumes/Costume Designer
William J. Creber Production Designer
Richard Day Production Designer
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Loyal Griggs Cinematographer
David Hall Art Director,Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Jack Hayes Musical Arrangement
J. McMillan Johnson Special Effects
Harold Kress Editor
Fred MacLean Production Designer
William C. Mellor Cinematographer
Ray Moyer Production Designer
Argyle Nelson Editor
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Vittorio Nino Novarese Costumes/Costume Designer
Frank O'Neill Editor
Norman Rockett Production Designer
Clarence Slifer Special Effects

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The Greatest Story Ever Told 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
kenKV More than 1 year ago
This movie is so excellent.  Thumb up!  I give four stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Several critical points missed in this DVD. In several places, Bible accuracy missed or altered. How Herod heard and responded for example. The Bible does not tell of soldiers following the wisemen to Bethlehem. Shepherds place was also missed. Joseph did not flee to Egypt upon seeing the soldiers as the movie shows. Instead, God warned him in a dream. On their returning to Judah/Galilee, God appeared in a dream to tell Joseph of Herod's death. In the movie, it was by word of mouth! It did not come out clearly that Lazarus was dead for 4 days. Judas place how he negotiated with the priests is not accurate. Also, when Jesus was buried, the movie shows the soldiers had slept on his resurrection!! This is the position of those against Jesus resurrection! The movie fails to show the events that ACTUALLY took place where the soldiers guarding ACTUALLY saw them with their own eyes! An angel appeared, rolled the stone, the guards SAW it. The priests are the ones who told the guards to say they had slept! I live in Japan. How do people (like Japanese) who have no prior Bible knowledge see the SPECIALNESS of Jesus birth, work and resurrection? However, I know you tried, spent great amounts of money. I wish you used Bible believing leaders or scholars to have brought this out accurately and clearly. I feel what makes Jesus SPECIAL and the ONLY one was greatly missed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When the great American director George Stevens announced that he was going to make the 'definitive' Life of Christ on film there was much anticipation in Hollywood that this famed craftsman would realize his dream. Costing a then astounding 20 million dollars and filmed over an inordinate period of time and great physical hardship, 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' premiered in February of 1965 and was roundly panned by most critics. The movie that George Stevens predicted would be seen generations hence as a cinema classic was an overly-reverential, funereally paced biblical epic that featured some of Hollywood's most illustrious stars (and others less so) in innumerable cameo appearances. Much of it was photographed in Utah's scenic Monument Valley, a familiar setting for John Ford's classic westerns. Swedish actor Max Von Sydow was a compelling if austere Jesus and his performance had some indelible moments, particularly in the Raising of Lazarus scene, perhaps the movie's finest sequence. 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' was a labor of love for Stevens and is worth seeing for its gorgeous physical production. Alfred Newman's music score is ethereally beautiful and adds considerable weight to the film's rather antiseptic drama. The DVD presents the film in its 'roadshow' version of 3 hours, 19 minutes but at its premiere the running time was well over 4 hours. As with many of Stevens' classic films, 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' often displays the director's gift for cinematic storytelling, creative use of visual montage and magnificent camera portaiture. Unlike his best films, it fails to involve the audience in its human drama.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just recently saw this movie, and I must say it was pretty good. However, there were some things I didn't like. First, the actor who portrayed Jesus seemed more like he was in his late 50's rather than 30. The movie started off with the wisemen looking for Baby Jesus, which it should have started off with the angel appearing to Mary. People who do not know Jesus will be confused and thrown off. The producers should have given some "before-Nativity" information background. People "talked" more about Jesus's miracles in the film, rather than showing Jesus turning water into wine, feeding the 5000, etc. There were also some Biblical inaccuracies: King Herod killed John the Baptist without anyone requesting it to him. An angel tells Joseph to flee to Egypt while he is AWAKE, not asleep. Simon of Cyrene walks over to Jesus and HELPS Him carry His cross, rather than have a Roman soldier force him. Also, before Jesus's baptism, there's a creative licensed conversation between John the Baptist and Jesus that is not recorded in the Bible. Mary Magdalene is shown as being the woman caught in the act of adultery. If you have seen the movie "Jesus of Nazareth", you know how well-rounded all the characters are: Peter, Pilate, Mary, Joseph, Andrew, Mary Magdalene, etc. Through the 6 hours of the film, the directors allow you to get to know EACH of the characters... even the minor roles... such as Nicodemus, Caiaphas, and Zerah the scribe. The characters are so rich and deep, you know a lot about them at the movie's end. However, in "The Greatest Story Ever Told", it's a bit different. The supporting roles (not Jesus, the lead role) are not well-rounded characters. You HARDLY get to know them. They are just... there! They are more like "cardboard cut-outs", the characters have very little personality. But the characters in "Jesus of Nazareth" were actually a part of the story. You really got to know them, even 5 minutes of the story's progression. I really loved the music in this movie. Mozart's "Messiah" was spectacular! And the scenery and locations were simply beautiful! To wrap this all up, I thought it was a very good movie... though I think Bruce Marchiano's "Matthew" and "Jesus of Nazareth" were the absolute bests.
Elephent-FishEyes More than 1 year ago
Very appealing movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago