Filmed independently in 1939, The Great Commandment finally attained released in 1942 via 20th Century-Fox. Set in 30 AD, the story concerns the burgeoning Christian movement, and its effects on young Judean scholar named Joel (John Beal). A hotheaded reactionary, Joel spearheads an uprising against the Romans, but his warlike impulses melt away under the influence of Jesus of Nazareth. Joel even "turns the other cheek" when dealing with the warrior who murdered his brother. Director Irving Pichel later helmed such inspirational church-basement fare as 1952's Martin Luther and 1954's Day of Triumph.