The Greatest Story Ever Told
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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 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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The prophets should speak with respect of this $20 million Biblical epic."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Mr. Stevens has done it in a generous and often stunning style. And the quality of his reverence should captivate the piously devout."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Wile it's not quite as bad as the critics claimed upon its release, it's not particularly good either."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Yes, the celebrity cameos distract, but the film focuses more on Jesus' message than the overated King of Kings If you've never seen it in widescreen, you are missing a revelation."
‑ Jeffrey Westhoff, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
"One of the most boring movies ever made; if Jesus was a wooden in life as he is in this movie, he would not have attracted one disciple."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"By reputation, the results are so dull and so consistently undercut by a succession of star cameos that no one seems to mind the various shorter versions released since them, one of them less than half as long."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Hammy performances by Charlton Heston as John the Baptist, Telly Savalas as Pilate, and, in the most notorious bit of casting, John Wayne(!) as a Roman soldier overseeing the crucifixion ("Truly, this man was the son of God," drawls the Duke)."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Despite some rousing scenes, may be the most boring movie ever made ..."
‑ Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
"The New Testament meets "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in this unintentionally funny all-star Biblical epic."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Don't let the title fool you. It's all hype. The gratuitous cameos make it hard to take the movie seriously."
‑ Collin Souter,
"Interminable and intolerably reverential."
‑ , Time Out
"Tends to degenerate into a series of increasingly bizarre walk-ons."
‑ , Film4
"If this is the greatest story ever told I can imagine how horrid is the worst story ever told."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"So call me a blasphemer and a heretic. Producer/director/writer George Stevens' ultimate project simply isn't a very good film."
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"The most unintentionally hilarious biblical epic ever to grace the silver screen."
‑ Scott Weinberg, Apollo Guide
More reviews for The Greatest Story Ever Told on Rotten Tomatoes

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