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Peter and Paul
     

Peter and Paul

Director: Robert Day

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Robert Foxworth, Eddie Albert

 

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This 1981 motion picture follows in the footsteps of the first Christians, led by Peter and Paul, during three decades of evangelizing in the Mediterranean region. The 195-minute version of the original TV miniseries begins in Jerusalem four years after the death of Jesus Christ when Stephen, a disciple of the new religion, dies by stoning after Jews find him guilty

Overview

This 1981 motion picture follows in the footsteps of the first Christians, led by Peter and Paul, during three decades of evangelizing in the Mediterranean region. The 195-minute version of the original TV miniseries begins in Jerusalem four years after the death of Jesus Christ when Stephen, a disciple of the new religion, dies by stoning after Jews find him guilty of blasphemy. Among the Jewish accusers is Paul of Tarsus (Anthony Hopkins), a leader in the campaign against the Christians. However, when he reaches down for a stone to throw, he hesitates while other Jews carry out the sentence. Later, on his way to Damascus to root out Christians there, he is thrown from his horse. When he looks up, he sees a bright light and hears a voice -- the voice of the Christian God -- reproaching him for his persecution of the Jews. Paul then converts to Christianity and preaches on its behalf in Damascus, where authorities flog and jail him. He escapes and returns to Jerusalem. There, another Christian, Barnabas (Herbert Lom), introduces him to Peter (Robert Foxworth). At first, Peter suspects Paul is a spy. But after Paul persuades him that he has truly converted, the two men unite in their efforts to win souls to Christ. While Peter remains behind to labor in Jerusalem and other parts of Judea, then a Roman province, Paul goes north to preach in Antioch, Perga, Lystra, and other cities. However, because he converts Gentiles without requiring them to accept Jewish religious law and traditions, the Jerusalem branch of Christianity chastises him. Later, when Peter and others meet with Paul to strike a compromise, asking him to require Gentiles to accept a limited number of Jewish religious practices, Paul angrily rejects their proposal. Eventually, however, Paul and Peter reconcile and end up ministering in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero (Julian Fellowes). There, they become martyrs to their faith.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This made-for-TV motion picture depicts the struggle of early Christians as they spread their new faith in often hostile regions in the Middle East and Europe. Heading the cast are Anthony Hopkins as the evangelist Paul and Robert Foxworth as the apostle Peter. Both actors portray their characters as quite human; sometimes they are strong and resolute, but sometimes they are weak and indecisive. They argue, reconcile, backtrack, and forge ahead. Never, however, do they become simplistic Christian icons or mere mouthpieces for the Christian message. Hopkins gets most of the camera time, and he doesn't waste it. He develops Paul as introspective, at times full of self-recrimination. But even when Paul doubts his ability to carry out his overwhelming task, Hopkins presents him as a man in whom the fire of faith continues to burn. Herbert Lom is particularly good as Barnabas, a Christian who supports and encourages Paul. Others who help distinguish the film include Jon Finch as Luke, John Rhys-Davies as Silas, David Gilliam as Mark, and Julian Fellowes as Nero. In his brief appearance, Fellowes defines Nero as articulate and crafty -- a subtle schemer who masks his evil with his aristocratic bearing and regal trappings. For audiences that favor period atmosphere, the film has plenty of it: authentic costumes, marble floors, many-columned buildings, torchlit alleyways, and the tramp of Roman soldiers on the stones of the Appian Way in Rome. Except for the crucifixion scene at the end, the film avoids graphic depiction of violence. It is well suited for family viewing.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2013
UPC:
0727985005058
Original Release:
1981
Source:
Vision Video
Sales rank:
31,663

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