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4.3 out of 5 stars22
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It is impossible to overestimate the important of this 1979 film, for it has made an impact in even the most primitive regions of the earth, places where men and women are only now hearing about Jesus for the first time. This definitive, rigorously scriptural movie version of the life of Jesus Christ has been seen by over five billion people around the globe, reaching 236 different nations in over 800 languages. It has helped win innumerable souls to Christ all over the world, and even now, under the aegis of Campus Crusade For Christ, local churches and individuals are coming together in an effort to send a free copy of the movie to every home in the United States. The movie was a dream over three decades in the making, with five years of pre-production work preceding the seven-month filming that took place in 1978 at a multitude of sites in Israel. Intense efforts, involving the collaboration of numerous scholars from the whole gamut of Christian churches, went into making Jesus as accurate as it could possibly be - from vintage pottery to historically accurate costuming to sufficient cinders residing behind burning torches, every effort was made to take the audience back to Jesus' time. It is a non-denominational Christian film; while some churches might quibble about an omission here or a suggestion there, this movie is the story of Jesus and not the story of any particular kind of Christian religion.
The movie is based solely on the Gospel of Luke, and the dialogue you hear is taken straight out of the Bible. Jesus says nothing in this film that He does not say in Luke's account of his life. Naturally, every facet of Jesus' life could not be covered here, but the movie does a superb job of showing us who Jesus was and how He lived, taught, suffered, and died for the sins of all humanity. Brian Deacon does a superb job playing Jesus, and Niko Nitai truly shines in his portrayal of Simon Peter. At times, the film does seem to jump from one scene to another rather quickly, but this goes back to the authenticity upon which the film was founded. In a sense, Jesus' ministry was spent walking toward Jerusalem and His death on the cross, so we see Jesus and his disciples walking almost continuously; furthermore, Jesus' teachings, as recorded in Luke's Gospel, are a collection of parables and religious instruction originating from many different events in the life of the Savior. Jesus took His message to the people instead of letting the people come to Him.
The suffering of Jesus is handled quite well here, clearly portraying the horrific nature of death by crucifixion without making it disturbing enough to scare young children. You do see the scourging of Jesus and the driving of the nails into his wrists and feet, but the director seemed to set just the right tone for the scenes. It all makes for a powerful film that has won innumerable souls across the world; to tell someone of Jesus is one thing, but to show that person in such a captivating format as film exactly who Jesus was and how He suffered and died for the sins of humanity makes for a powerful missionary tool. Even non-Christians will be impressed by the commitment, scrupulous attention to detail, and cinematic mastery that went into the making of this film.
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on 3 October 2008
This stands as one of favourite-gospel films along with "Jesus of Nazareth" and "The Passion of The Christ". Where "The Passion" goes for viceral film making, being in essence a filmatic stigmata, this film portrays the entire life, death and resurrection of the Saviuor, using little special effects, and in general little spectacle. The film is warm-hearted, but avoids sentimentality. It portrays Jesus in a classic manner, thankfully, and avoids completely any attempt at "re-interpreting" the gospels (Such as "The last temptation", which in essence implies that the gospel-writers would not have sufficient judgement and inspiration for making a historical report of the (earthly) life of Jesus).
Brian Deacon plays Jesus, and does a marvelous job; Jesus is close to common people, humble yet powerful, human and divine, in a strange way very simple, yet very deep, non-formal but also very solemn.
This film is based upon the gospel of Luke, and the only addition from other gospels is the "great commission" which ends the film.
Want a balanced standard-filmatisation of the Life of Jesus, being true to the gospel and historical facts: get this one. It can be gotten in many dubbed versions, great for giving to friends that do not speak english.
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on 4 October 2014
I bought this dvd because I was struggling to feel close to Jesus. Although I felt close to God the Father, Jesus felt far off, like some fictional character, as unreal as the tooth fairy. I read the accounts of Jesus' life in the Bible, but struggled to really "see" it. I read what he said, but struggled to really "hear" it. I don't know why, but it felt like there was a block between me and Jesus. I felt like something was missing in my life.

I thought that maybe if I watched a dvd about Jesus, it might help bring him to life for me, and make him seem more real to me. I personally was riveted to this dvd. I think it is quite a simple film, but I do think it helped bring certain aspects of Jesus to the light. Jesus seems humble in the film, but in a way powerful as well. The way children were drawn to Jesus is portrayed in this film, as well as his love for them.

I know there is no way to really know exactly how Jesus said certain things, the tone of his voice, or the expressions on his face, but I still found this film helpful in helping me feel closer to him.

I was worried about watching the crucifixion and the events leading up to it, as I am very sensitive to violence, horror, blood, etc. However, while the scenes portrayed the mercilessness and brutality of the ordeal Jesus went through, I didn't find it unbearable to watch. I found it upsetting to think of what Jesus went through, but it wasn't overly graphic or gruesome. I am easily disturbed by things like that, but I found this film okay to watch and not disturbing.

At the end of the film, there are recordings of people telling of their own personal experiences with Jesus, and there is also a prayer you can pray along to, if you want to.

The parts I found most moving were the crucifixion and the end. I was in tears at both parts and kept crying after the film had finished. I felt moved, because it was like I finally realised that Jesus is close to all of us. He can relate to us. His teachings can be very hard, and it would be easy for us to dismiss them, and him, if he had lived a charmed, easy life, and never experienced what we experience. But Jesus knows what it is like to suffer. He knows what it is like to be betrayed, to be rejected, to be abandoned, to be humiliated, to be hated, to feel agonising physical pain, to feel anguish at what is to come...Jesus knows. I felt that Jesus can care about me personally, as he can relate to things I have been through and am going through.

As I said, I know it is a film, just an attempt to try and recreate the life of Jesus, and I know the actor is not Jesus. But even so, this film has helped bridge a gap between me and Jesus, and has helped make him more real to me. This is just my own personal opinion of the film, and my own experience. I hope this review is helpful.
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on 15 May 2012
Brian Deacon's Jesus is an impressive mixture of warmth, compassion and charismatic leader.
The story admirably joins together the main planks of the Gospel of Luke and only creaks in
a few places, which if anything adds to its charm.

This is probably one of the most accessible and successful of the many dramatisations of
of the life of Jesus, and at 83 minutes it is one of the shortest but it nevertheless paints
a fine portrait and gives an excellent overview of a moving and historic life.
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on 14 October 2012
Great film so pleased to now have on DVD had on video for years the acting is great a must see
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on 12 June 2015
This is a truly wonderful and accurate adaptation of Luke's Gospel and Brian Deacon portrays Christ well. I am only awarding 2 stars because this version is a short version of what was a much much longer film that went on for about 200-350 mins that covered the whole Gospel word for word.

To offer only 83 mins is a sell-out! This is a synopsis of the life of Jesus but I prefer the whole Gospel like what the Visual Bible film group did for their adaptation of Matthew's Gospel and Gospel of John.

For all those who have enjoyed and been blessed by this adaptation of Luke's Gospel please lobby for the release of the full uncut film. Don't settle for less!!
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on 4 April 2013
This is an amazing dvd and will be used on one of the container ships calling into Cork harbour - the crews are from many countries and they can find out more about Jesus in their own language.
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on 24 May 2014
It is a brilliant and Biblical true film of the life of Jesus. Unlike the Robert Powell film (with a miserable Jesus) this film portrays Jesus as normal. It is gripping and you cant break away from it. Portrays the Bible stories as the life of Jesus rather than just "nice stories". Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster and be challenged as to whether you believe who Jesus said he was or not. Recommended.
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on 8 August 2015
This is a wonderful film - I first saw it many years ago, and still love it. Authentic and challenging, I love Brian Deacon's interpretation of Jesus - he is so warm and approachable.The crucifixion scene still brings tears to my eyes. Recommended!
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on 24 January 2015
I used to own a VHS version of the same film. Now I no longer have a video player, so I bought this as a replacement. The film is closely based on the Luke's Gospel. It's useful for gaining a quick overview of the life and work of Jesus.
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