Last Temptation of Christ

Last Temptation of Christ

4.5 17
Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Martin Scorsese, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey

     
 

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Willem Dafoe plays Jesus Christ in this extraordinarily controversial adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel. The film depicts a sometimes reluctant, self-doubting Jesus, gradually coming to accept His divinity and the inexorability of His ultimate fate. The much-maligned sex scene with Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey) occurs as an hallucination experienced by Jesus… See more details below

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Overview

Willem Dafoe plays Jesus Christ in this extraordinarily controversial adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel. The film depicts a sometimes reluctant, self-doubting Jesus, gradually coming to accept His divinity and the inexorability of His ultimate fate. The much-maligned sex scene with Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey) occurs as an hallucination experienced by Jesus as he suffers on the cross. This particular sequence was what infuriated the film's most rabid critics, but in fact it is just one of many iconoclastic musings to be found in the film and its source novel. Equally volatile are the intimations that, as a carpenter, Jesus indifferently shaped the crucifixes for other condemned prisoners long before his own fate was sealed, and that Judas (Harvey Keitel) was literally manipulated into betrayal by a Christ whose preoccuption with his own destiny compelled him to "use" others. None of these departures from the normal interpretation of the scriptures are offered as any more than theory; as such, it was accepted as food for thought by the more open-minded clerics and Biblical scholars who recommended the film.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Canceled in 1983, finally made in 1987, and embroiled in controversy, Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) is the ultimate labor of love and a singularly thought-provoking take on the life of Jesus. Though fundamentalists loudly protested a brief scene featuring Willem Dafoe's Christ procreating with Barbara Hershey's Mary Magdalene, the real "offense" was portraying Jesus as fully human as well as fully divine, and thus subject to doubts, fears, and temptation via a deceptively angelic girl offering a vision of normal life. Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader's aim to think through the meaning of Christ's dual nature and the Passion, however, becomes a sincere affirmation of faith through its very humanism and, yes, humor. Shot on a minimal budget in Morocco, Scorsese's rough, stripped-down style avoids Hollywood biblical gloss and turns Jesus and his Apostles into accessible, rough-accented human beings, paradoxically making Jesus' acceptance of his fate all the more effective (though Harvey Keitel's Brooklynite Judas provoked some derision). Released amid vociferous criticism (from fundamentalist Christians who refused to actually see it), The Last Temptation of Christ earned good notices and Scorsese an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Certain video chains, however, won't stock it.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/13/2012
UPC:
0715515092715
Original Release:
1988
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:43:00
Sales rank:
211

Special Features

Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack by supervising sound editor Skip Lievsay; Audio commentary featuring director Martin Scorsese, actor Willem Dafoe, and writers Paul Schrader and Jay Cocks; Galleries of production stills, research materials, and costume designs; Location production footage shot by Scorsese; Interview with composer Peter Gabriel, with a stills gallery of traditional instrunments used in the score; PLUS: An essay by film critic David Ehrenstein

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Willem Dafoe Jesus Christ
Harvey Keitel Judas Iscariot
Barbara Hershey Mary Magdalene
Harry Dean Stanton Paul,Saul
David Bowie Pontius Pilate
Verna Bloom Mary, Mother of Jesus
Andre Gregory John the Baptist
Juliette Caton Girl Angel
Roberts Blossom Aged Master
Irvin Kershner Zebedee
Gary Basaraba Andrew, Apostle
Victor Argo Peter, Apostle
Michael Been John, Apostle
Paul Herman Phillip, Apostle
John Lurie James, Apostle
Leo Burmeister Nathaniel, Apostle
Alan Rosenberg Thomas, Apostle
Tomas Arana Lazarus
Nehemiah Persoff Rabbi
Barry Miller Jeroboam
Mahamed Ait Fdil Ahmed Other Apostle
Peter Berling Beggar
Penny Brown Actor
Russell Case Person at Sermon
Randy Danson Mary, Sister of Lazarus
Illeana Douglas Actor
Peggy Gormley Martha, Sister of Lazarus
Paul Greco Zealot
Donald Hodson Saducee
Mohamed Mabsout Other Apostle
Donna Marie Person at Sermon
Leo Marks Devil
Ahmed Nacir Other Apostle
Del Russell Money Changer
Mokhtar Salouf Other Apostle
Mary Sellers Person at Sermon
Steven Shill Centurion
Robert Spafford Man at Wedding
Doris Von Thury Woman with Mary, Mother of Jesus
Dale Wyatt Actor
Domenico Fiore Actor

Technical Credits
Martin Scorsese Director
Michael Ballhaus Cinematographer
John Beard Production Designer
Cis Corman Casting
Barbara de Fina Producer
Jean-Pierre Delifer Costumes/Costume Designer
Giorgio Desideri Set Decoration/Design
Iginio Fiorentini Special Effects
Peter Gabriel Score Composer
Gino Galliano Special Effects
Joseph P. Reidy Asst. Director
Manilo Rocchetti Makeup
Franco Salamon Stunts
Andrew Sanders Art Director,Production Designer
Thelma Schoonmaker Editor
Paul Schrader Screenwriter
Harry Ufland Executive Producer
Lahcen Zinoune Choreography

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