Customer Reviews


38 Reviews
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving, spiritually inspirational account of the life and death of Jesus Christ.
I think a previous reviewer fails to comprehend the importance of deeply understanding how the Jewish world in which Jesus lived and the Roman occupation the inhabitants of Judea endured are to really appreciating the message Jesus came to give us. I refer specifically to the expectation that the Jewish people had that Jesus deliver them from the Romans using his power in...
Published on 9 May 2012 by Cynthia Danute Cekauskas, LCSW

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Easter Bomb
One of the worst biblical films ever made. When at the start the commentator referred to "Rome's imperial legions" at the time of Pompey's REPUBLICAN assault on Jerusalem, I couldn't wait for the crucifixion to put us all out of our misery. The protagonists were hopelessly miscast: Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus, Robert Ryan as John the Baptist, while Hurd Hatfield as...
Published 12 months ago by lycidas


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving, spiritually inspirational account of the life and death of Jesus Christ., 9 May 2012
This review is from: King of Kings [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I think a previous reviewer fails to comprehend the importance of deeply understanding how the Jewish world in which Jesus lived and the Roman occupation the inhabitants of Judea endured are to really appreciating the message Jesus came to give us. I refer specifically to the expectation that the Jewish people had that Jesus deliver them from the Romans using his power in their physical world when Jesus was about delivering humanity from sin to everlasting life in an eternal unseen world. I recall the part where Jesus comes to visit John the Baptist informing Lucius that he has come to free John. Baffled, Lucius asks Jesus just how he plans to free John outside the prison walls. Jesus replied that he plans to free John WITHIN the prison walls. I also would suggest to any reviewer who might be similarly critical that they read Jim Bishop's book The Day Christ Died. This book originally published in 1957 and again released in 1991 gives the reader an indepth look at the life of Jesus Christ, the man, as he struggled between the human and divine side of his persona. I think if this reviewer would read that he or she would understand why this was incorporated into this film.

The film itself is phenomenal. I have been watching it since it first came out in 1961, almost on an annual basis, for years only on television. I was so happy when I finally was able to purchase a video of it and now I am buying a DVD. They just do not make movies like this anymore. I have seen a number of actors attempt to play Jesus but none with the depth of passion that Jeffrey Hunter did in this movie. The scene where John the Baptist meets Jesus in the river, looking him in the eye and realizing that he has no sin and thus no need to be baptized; the scene were John the Baptist is reaching up his hand to touch the hand of Jesus from outside the prison cell where John is confined; the scenes of the miracles that Jesus performed; the Sermon on the Mount; and the Passion and Crucifixtion of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are so powerful. The movie is truly an outstanding work of art to treasure for all generations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I am fire, he is water! How can we ever meet?", 23 July 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
For all its low reputation, Samuel Bronston's much-mocked King of Kings is easily the best and most intelligent of the `devotional' versions of the life of Christ, largely because it sets Jesus as a historical figure and, to a degree, a victim of history and politics in troubled times. More importantly, it manages to do it without being as relentlessly dreary and one-note as George Stevens' The Greatest Story Ever Told, which becomes more of an endurance test with each passing year. Even the vigorously-staged battle scenes serve a real dramatic purpose, pitting Barabbas' Davidic warrior would-be Messiah against Jesus' spiritual deliverer ("I am fire, he is water - how can we ever meet?") that is many ways the real conflict of the film: the fight between material pragmatism (the Romans, Herod, Barabbas) and spiritual idealism (Jesus and his followers). Even Caiphas is given a very modern reading, not as a black-hearted villain but as an unpopular Roman-appointed religious leader who genuinely cares for his flock, fearing that Jesus' popularity could be used by the Romans to start a Holocaust that will destroy his people.

There's much imagination at work too: while Jeffrey Hunter's Messiah suffers from MGM's insistence on redubbing the part in more `masterful' tones, he proactively interacts with the crowd in the Sermon on the Mount, played almost like a press conference, while the Last Supper takes its visual design not from Da Vinci but from the CND's peace symbol. The casting IS variable - Robert Ryan's John the Baptist, Hurd Hatfield's Pontius Pilate, Harry Guardino's Barabbas, Ron Randell's centurion, Guy Rolfe's Caiphas and Gregoire Aslan and the great Frank Thring as Herod Sr. and Jr. are fine, but Rip Torn is surprisingly awkward as an otherwise well-conceived Judas Iscariot doomed by compromise, Royal Dano's Simon Peter is a better idea on paper than onscreen (particularly when given dialog) and Siobhan McKenna's eminently punchable misty-eyed Mary is a tad too Oirish Catlic for my tastes. Yet despite its weaknesses and the virtual sidelining of Jesus for much of the running time - this is more a film about His times and His effect on those around Him than His life - it's never less than totally involving, and often genuinely moving.

Despite reputedly losing interest in post-production, Nicholas Ray's direction is excellent, his mastery of the wide screen making great use of the 70mm format and showing real inspiration in his handling of some of the miracles, scenes greatly enhanced by Miklos Rozsa's superlative score. Even Ray Bradbury's poetic narration, beautifully delivered by Orson Welles, originally intended as a quick fix to paper over the cracks in the narrative, genuinely adds to the film's complex political picture of an occupied territory. Not that some of the cracks aren't still visible, as in the meaningful exchange of looks on the Temple steps between Jesus and Richard Johnson (whose constantly changing part - one day a freed gladiator, the next an Arab, the next a Romanized Jew - was otherwise totally deleted). But they're minor complaints in an extraordinary epic that achieves more of its ambitions than its given credit for.

Incidentally, how on earth did they get the obscene graffiti on the barracks walls past the censors in 1961? Less obvious on the DVD copy, you can't miss it on the 70mm prints!

Warner's DVD is a beautiful transfer and, unlike MGM/UA's slightly cropped laserdisc issue, in the correct aspect ratio. Extras are thin, though - a teaser trailer and brief newsreel footage. The all-region Blu-Ray release includes the newsreel footage and the longer trailer for the film's general release.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King of Kings, Blu Ray.Us Import., 18 April 2012
Visually stunning,King of Kings should be the bench-mark for these Blu Ray films,l found the quality flawless.l can't understand why other films vairy so Much .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Triumph, 5 Mar. 2013
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
With Easter fast approaching this triumphant blu ray transfer, of Ray's impressive film, is perfect viewing. It is probably the best version of the life of Christ ever put on film. The performance of the late Jeffrey Hunter is quite extraordinary. The script is literate, the direction avoids many of the pitfalls inherent with such a subject, and the photography absolutely stunning. The audio and video transfer is phenomenal and provides great detail, stunning colour, great black levels, and a broad sound spectrum. Extras are interesting too. A totally recommended, and deeply moving film which I would encourage you to purchase.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An honourable and decent attempt, 1 July 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Critics at the time panned this movie as "I was a Teenage Jesus", etc., which was extremely unfair.

I am not a particularly religious person, but I found this story of Christ's life extremely moving and sincere. Even if you do not believe in him as God, he comes across as a noble and charismatic figure worthy of admiration. The plot retells the biblical story more as less traditionally: this is what you expect to see. The musical score by Rosza is, as usual, excellent.

When I used to run a cinema club, I put on special showings of this movie for religious groups. They were totally overwhelmed, many leaving in tears after the final scenes of crucifixion nad resurrection. Though the crucifixion scenes are deeply affecting, the gratuitous and disgusting violence of "The Passion of the Christ" has thankfully been avoided.

Having projected this film many times over, I found it a profoundly disturbing experience; it does make you wonder about your beliefs or lack of them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars film of films, 8 Jun. 2010
By 
S. Sibanda - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: King of Kings [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Over 2hours of the retelling of the birth, the life, the death and ressurrection of Jesus Christ. Jeffrey Hunter plays the Nazarene very charismatically. The film is beautiful to watch with its lavish costumes and settings. I would say the most moving part of the film is the reenactment of the sermon on the mount, simple but moving and perhaps life changing words.
The film takes you through the foretelling of HIS coming, to Herods murderous spree of first born sons, the infamous dance performed by Salome for her stepfather, the beheading of John the baptist, the baptism of Christ, the temptation of Christ, the Last Supper, the guilt-ridden suicide of judas Iscariot and the trial in which Barrabas is spared by the people. I would say it is one of the best films about Jesus Christ and well worth having in your film collection, whether you're a believer or not.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Portrayal of Jesus, 29 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A fantastic film showing the life of Jesus. Jeffrey Hunter is haunting in the main role. Sadly this film was not a success - even though it puts all the others in the shade. Watch it if you want to discover a hidden gem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but Interesting, 20 July 2005
"King of Kings" is somewhat tame compared to many other films on the life of Jesus, but is still nevertheless well worth watching. It does not have the grandeur and visual beauty of the George Stevens "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965), or the intensity of the silent Cecil B. DeMille "King of Kings" (1927) that it is supposed to be based on, but it is always reverential towards its subject matter, even if at a rather slow pace. Many of the events told in the Gospels are simply read, rather than depicted, and this job goes to a Roman named Lucius (well played by Ron Randell), and the magnificent voice of Orson Welles as narrator. There is also a fair amount of extraneous material in trying to describe the political climate of the time, and to expand on the life of Jesus.
Jeffrey Hunter, an underrated actor during his short lifetime and handful of films, is a handsome Jesus, with crystal blue eyes, and is very effective in the temptation in the desert, and the Sermon on the Mount. His youthful good looks made some people nickname this film "I Was a Teenage Jesus," even though Hunter was in his mid 30s at the time. Others in the cast are Siobhan McKenna as Mary, Harry Guardino as Barrabas, Rip Torn as Judas, and Hurd Hatfield as Pontius Pilate. Robert Ryan makes a good, grizzled John the Baptist, and of all the film Salomes, Brigid Bazlen is the best. Her voluptuous seduction of a drunken, lascivious Herod (Frank Thring) is terrific storytelling and quite believable.
Directed by Nicholas Ray, the film has a grand score by Miklos Rozsa, and the cinematography, shot on location in Spain, is by Manuel Berenguer. In my extensive "Jesus" film collection, this is the one I play the least, but it has value in many of its performances, and as a comparison to other films of this theme. Total running time is 170 minutes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars I like it, 3 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: King of Kings [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This DVD was for my husband as a present. We watched Christ crucified on TV, however, this version was almost accurate and more emotional. And he has been going on & on about him watching this King of Kings years back. So I decided to look up on Amazon and vou'la, there it was. I ordered and paid it for him. He was very pleased with it with a big smile. Thank you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handsome Jesus, 4 May 2012
This review is from: King of Kings [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
It has always been well known that Hollywood is not particular about getting the facts right and this film is no exception. For the whole truth and nothing but the truth concerning our Lord Jesus Christ you should read your Bible.
This film however, could serve as a good introduction to Jesus and what He came to Earth to achieve. The main points of the life of Christ are pretty accurate and in my opinion Jeffery Hunter gives a good portrayal of the character of Jesus if not what he looked like. The Bible tells us nothing about what Christ looked like but we can be certain it wasn't like Jeffery Hunter. He would not have had blue eyes and it was frowned upon for men to have long hair in those days. So, Jesus probably had a dark complexion, brown eyes and short hair. Again, His height we know nothing about. Personally, I would suspect that He was quite tall because He would need to be seen by all the people He spoke to.
All the scenes with Barabbas, with the exception of the fact that he was released in place of Jesus, is entirely fictitious. The Bible tells us nothing about Barabbas before or after this event. It is safe to say too that it is very unlikely that Judas would have had any interaction with him because if that were the case the Gospels would have mentioned it. So, in short, at least half of this movie can be disregarded as untrue.
Having said all that though, I LOVE this movie. I love biblical epics and the way they were produced back in the sixties. This one has the overture, intermission and exit music as it should, but unfortunately they have once again put those words up on the screen when it should be black. Darn 'em.
The music by Miklos Rozsa is simply fabulous. The rousing swells of the orchestra and choir go so well with the majestic titles, golden block capitals against a slowly changing sky.
Then we have Orson Welles's narration as he tells us that, "most irreverent Pompeii set himself down."
Robert Ryan is well cast as an angry John the Baptist as is Brigid Bazlen as Salome, the wonderful Frank Thring as Herod and Rita Gam as Herodias. You can feel the emotions in the scene where Salome dances for Herod and the glint of evil mischief in her eyes as she asks for John the Baptist's head on a silver platter. Herod's disbelief at the request and Herodias's look of all consuming jealousy is all so powerful.
A note of Catholicism is introduced when Mary Magdalene, (Carmen Sevilla) goes to see Mary, (Siobhan Mc Kenna) and asks her to speak to her son for her. Mary looks up and says, "intercede."
Then there is Hurd Hatfield as Pontius Pilate with a high pitched, scraping voice so perfect for a arrogant, self important villain.
Jeffery Hunter is quiet and measured as Jesus and conveys compassion and authority. I have read though that his speech was dubbed over in post production by himself because it was not authoritative enough.
Unfortunately we do not see any of the more overt miracles in this movie but then, it focuses more on the message of Christ than on the spectacular. The sermon on the mount is very well done with Jesus moving about among the people just as I have imagined He would have done. The words of Christ are beautiful and the cadence of Hunter's voice here conveys them in a very moving way.
"King of Kings" was not made in Cinemascope or bog standard Panavision as they all are today. It was filmed in Super Technirama 70, the aspect ratio of which is 2.21:1. I think the aspect on this DVD looks more like 2.35:1 but it's such a small difference that it's hard to be sure.
A good thing about this DVD from Warner Bros is that it is NOT encoded for region one even though the cover and Amazon say it is. I have found that a lot of Warner Bros releases from the USA are not region one encoded. Some are, but a lot of them are not. Warners are to be commended for not subscribing to this stupid practice.
The extras on this disc are, the original trailer and some disjointed newsreel footage of the premiere.
This is a truly gorgeous film, I wish I could give it more than five stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews