- Format: DVD-ROM
- Language: English, Latin
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.20:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: U
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0006GANX2
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,463 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Agony & The Ecstasy [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Warrior Pope Julius II orders sculptor Michelangelo to paint frescoes on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. Directed by Carol Reed.
Carol Reed (The Third Man) directed this 1965 portrait of the relationship between Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) and Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison), who commissioned the artist to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Based on a novel by Irving Stone, the script of The Agony and the Ecstasy plods along, juggling the dynamics between the two men along with a somewhat perfunctory love story and distracting battle sequences. Reed seems more attuned to the nuances and great pains of the artistic process, as seen in sequences of Michelangelo working. But the overall focus of the film is unfortunately fuzzy. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
The mini-documentary at the start is fabulous, perhaps the commentary is a little verbose by today's standards. But Jerry Goldsmith's (uncredited) music behind the opening documentary is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written for film. It always brings me to tears.
Watching this great film before going to Rome and seeing the Sistine Chapel is wonderful. It shows you how the ceiling was painted, shows you what the Papacy was like during the High Renaissance, and most of all, it shows you what the ceiling looked like before its stunning restoration. You really appreciate how special the restoration was, and how it changed our perception of Michelangelo's painting technique. High quality photos of the original ceiling, taken in the mid-60's, were used to decorate the incredible replica chapel built for the film, and the difference between what we see in the film and what we see today in the real Sistine Chapel is phenomenal.
Of course this is mainly a fictional movie, but what a terrific way to spend a Friday or Saturday night. The screenplay is intelligent, the acting first class from everyone. It's a pity the decision was made in 1965 to dub over the Italian actor's voices with American voices; this has always been my only complaint with this film. The sets are breathtaking.Read more ›
And so it be that that is the often repeated exchange between Rex Harrison's Pope Julius II & Charlton Heston's Michelangelo, and thus we have the basis for the film version of Irving Stone's novel The Agony & The Ectasy. This is a fictionalised account of how Michelango came to paint his masterpiece on the roof of the Sistine chapel, focusing solely on the two main characters of the piece, The Agony & The Ectasy is a character and dialogue driven piece of work.
I'm not here to give you a history lesson on the Renaisssance painters or the background to Pope Julius II (The Warrior Pope) and his term of office, there are many well written comments on this site that revel in that side of things. I'm here purely as a lover of this film and to tell you that I do indeed love it regardless of the obvious historical failings. It spins a smashing story of two great men driven to distraction by each other on account of each respective man's blustery ego, both men seemingly failing to realise that what irks them so, does in fact flourish the soul. Thankfully the two lead actors here put up a special show to carry the film with ease, with both Heston & Harrison really getting their teeth into the roles to feed off of each other with quality results - with one scene having Michelangelo goad Julius off of his sick bed being particularly memorable.
The toil and time consuming lengths that Michelangelo went to finish the wondrous ceiling of the chapel is perfectly captured by the pacing from director Carol Reed, and it's within this mindset that I personally feel engrossed with the characters from beginning to end.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely well made movie, very well directed and the acting is superb. Blue ray transfer is very good for a movie this old.Published 5 months ago by Keith Phillips
Worth watching the difference between simple Faith and Religion but both do the work of GodPublished 6 months ago by Man of God.
It was very interesting and I loved the love-hate dialogues betwen the Pope and Michaelangelo.Published 8 months ago by June Ann Plimmer Wharton